Ascension woman gets prison time after using 'Boss Lady Suits' business to swindle PPP money
PRAIRIEVILLE - A woman who stole nearly $150,000 in COVID relief money for businesses was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Federal prosecutors said April Falgoust, 46, was sentenced at federal court in Baton Rouge following an investigation into fraudulent small business assistance claims amid the pandemic.
Falgoust used several businesses, including one called "Boss Lady Suits," to misrepresent financial loss and collect as much as $143,000. She applied for $473,000 in assistance, prosecutors said, but did not get the entire amount.
Falgoust didn't just fudge the toll the pandemic had on her businesses but also the number of employees and revenues.
“Today’s sentencing should serve as a reminder to those who deceive and steal from hardworking Americans that they will be held to account for their actions. The FBI and its partners will continue to hold accountable those like Ms. April Falgoust who perpetrate fraud schemes at the expense of the American people,” said FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Douglas A. Williams, Jr., in a prepared statement.
The fraud was tied to Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, and other benefits intended to help people and businesses suffering from the economic effects of the pandemic.
The court also sentenced Falgoust to serve three years of supervised release following her term of imprisonment, ordered her to pay $147,925.69 in restitution to the United States Small Business Administration, and further ordered her to forfeit an additional $143,800 in proceeds from her crime.
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