Pandemic Fraud: Georgia woman sentenced to 4 years in prison after using COVID relief funds to pay for Miami vacation

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GEORGIA (WRBL) – A Georgia woman has been sentenced to serve four years in prison for her involvement in a pandemic fraud scheme in which she used false information to get $150,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The Jefferson County woman then cashed out the loan and used the money in part to pay for a vacation to Miami.

According to officials with the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Georgia, on Jan. 14, 2022, Whitney Adwan Mack, 34, was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to one county of wire fraud.

US Attorney David H. Estes said COVID relief funds have helped many people with struggling businesses during the pandemic, but also presented an opportunity to people who thought they could steal from the government.

“Unfortunately, the lure of money also attracted con artists who attempted to enrich themselves by defrauding taxpayers during a national emergency, and they are being held accountable,” said Estes.

Officials said Mack, Louisville, Ga., admitted that in July 2020, she made false statements to obtain COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The false statements included information about the number of individuals Mack’s company employed and the company’s gross revenue.

Additionally, Mack also used someone else’s social security number to apply for the loans, according to officials.

Officials said, after receiving $150,000 in EIDL, Mack withdrew a large amount of the funds in cash and used part of the proceeds for a vacation in Miami.

“Mack stole critical funding earmarked for small businesses facing real economic hardships due to the pandemic and damaged the integrity of the Social Security number,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration.

Following her release from prison, Mack will have to pay $5,000 fine and serve three years of supervised release.

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