CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Federal officials say fake COVID-19 loan applications will imprison a Charlotte woman for 42 months.
Nkhenge Shropshire, 49, will also have three years of supervised release after being found guilty of attempting to get the relief loans. Court records show that Shropshire and her co-conspirators tried to obtain at least $331,072. They actually got around $45,000.
Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, announced the conviction on Wednesday with Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
“At a time that businesses and communities were doing their best to survive the devastating impact of COVID-19, Shropshire was busy trying to make a quick buck and take advantage of the aid administered by the government,” King said.
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, Shropshire conspired with others to defraud the Small Business Association by submitting fraudulent applications for Economic Disaster Relief Loans (EIDL).
Business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic had access to those loans under the expanded Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
According to court records, between July 2 and Sept. 2, 2020, Shropshire and her co-conspirators submitted at least ten fraudulent EIDL applications to the SBA. Forms included false information about the total number of employees and gross revenues.
Records show Shropshire spent the money on personal expenses, including hotel stays, shopping sprees, and cars.
Shropshire previously had a conviction involving filing false tax returns. With this most recent conviction, she was on federal supervised release when committing the COVID-19 fraud scheme. She lied on a loan application and served 33 months in prison with five years of supervised release.
On May 6, 2022, Shropshire pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy. She is in federal custody and will go to the federal Bureau of Prisons when a facility is determined.