Arkansas woman charged with nearly $ 2 million in COVID-19 relief fraud
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas woman is accused of siphoning nearly $ 2 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), money she allegedly used to fund a lavish shopping spree and pay off a student loan.
Ganell Tubbs, 41, of Little Rock, has applied for COVID-19 relief funds through the PPP on behalf of two companies, The Little Piglet Soap Company, LLC and Suga Girl Customs, LLC. Neither company is in good standing, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State, and both have Tubbs’ personal phone number and address as registered contact details.
A press release from the US Attorney’s Office says Tubbs claimed that Suga Girl Customs paid $ 1,385,903 in salaries and allowances in the first quarter of 2020. She submitted the PPP request on April 30 and was approved. for a loan of $ 1,518,887.
Tubbs received the money on May 5 and, two days later, spent $ 8,000 to pay off a student loan, according to the indictment. A week later, prosecutors said she shopped online, spending around $ 6,000 on products from Apple, Michael Kors, Sephora, Northface, Nike and others.
Tubbs’ second PPP application for The Little Piglet Soap Company on May 5 earned him a loan of $ 414,375, according to the press release.
“Many businesses across Arkansas are struggling to stay open during this COVID-19 pandemic, so our office has zero tolerance for anyone who fraudulently abuses federal funds meant to help businesses get through this difficult time,” he said. said FBI Special Agent in Charge Diane Upchurch. “Along with our federal and state partners, we will remain vigilant against fraudsters and ensure that P3 funds are used as intended. “
Tubbs faces two counts of bank fraud, two counts of misrepresenting a loan application and one count of participating in a monetary transaction with the proceeds of illegal activity.