SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A Byron woman is facing up to 20 years in prison after an indictment alleges she fraudulently obtained funds intended for COVID-19 small business assistance.
U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, David Estes, said Gladys Harun, 43, is charged with one count of Wire Fraud in Georgia.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the charge subjects Harun upon conviction to up to 20 years in prison along with substantial financial penalties and restitution, followed by up to three years of supervised release. Prior to the indictment, Harun was arrested on a criminal complaint and ordered detained by U.S. Magistrate Brian K. Epps.
“Congress appropriated nearly $650 billion to help small businesses struggling to survive during the pandemic,” Estes said. “That amount of money rang the dinner bell for those who would exploit the system to feed their greed, and with our law enforcement partners we are holding them accountable.”
The indictment claims Harun, who operates a tax preparation business with several locations, is accused of providing “false and altered supporting documentation” to obtain $299,913 in loan proceeds from a California lender through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s Paycheck Protection Program.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form.