FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Hunter VanPelt, a businesswoman out of Roswell, is the latest Georgian to be sentenced for fraudulent use of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The small business loan is designed to help companies pay their employees during the pandemic. After obtaining millions in fraudulent proceeds, VanPelt is facing prison time and a hefty multi-million dollar fine.
VanPelt was sentenced to three years and five months in prison, five years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $7,002,031.50 in restitution. She was also ordered to forfeit $2,077,381 after being convicted for bank fraud in August, the Department of Justice said in a press release.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is meant to help legitimate businesses and their workers through the depths of the pandemic,” U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said in a press release. “Unfortunately, VanPelt decided to use the program as her personal bank. A significant federal sentence, such as the one she received, hopefully deters others from following the same path.”
VanPelt submitted six false PPP loan applications, totaling $7,943,591.50 in value, between April 27 and June 17 of 2020, authorities say. A total $6,017,066.50 was disbursed to VanPelt. Federal agents ultimately seized roughly $2.1 million of those fraudulent proceeds following an investigation by the FBI and the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General.
The six loan applications were made under six companies owned by the Roswell businesswoman, records show.
The businesses are Georgia Nephrology Physician Associated, United Healthcare Group & Co., Nephrology Network Group LLC, First Corporate International, Corkrum Consolidated Inc. and Kiwi International Inc.