Four suspects plead guilty to PPP loan fraud

Four South Carolinians have pled guilty in connection to PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan...
Four South Carolinians have pled guilty in connection to PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan fraud.(Mark Lennihan | AP)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Four South Carolinians have pled guilty in connection to PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan fraud.

Lori Hammond, 53 of Summerville, Catherine Needham, 36, of Manning, Jontrell Wright, 35, of Holly Hill, and Christopher Conrad, 39, of Holly Hill, have all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.

According to officials, in total all four of them received $4,721,638.50 in PPP loan funds.

Investigators say Hammond submitted multiple loan applications for herself and her co-conspirators around June 2020 and around January 2021.

All four of the suspects face a maximum penalty of twenty years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000, restitution, and three years of supervision.

Investigators say Hammond, Wright, Needham, and Conrad used the funds for non-business-related purposes, while using information of deceased people, false tax information and misleading statements when applying for the funds.

United States District Judge David C. Norton accepted the guilty plea and will sentence the defendants after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Limehouse is prosecuting the case.

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