An Alpharetta woman is among several people charged with stealing millions from a federal COVID-19 relief program.

Lakisha Swope, 43, of Alpharetta and Treisha Pearson, 49, of Brookhaven have been arraigned on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering after allegedly participating in a scheme to steal over $3.5 million from the Paycheck Protection Program.

“Swope and Pearson allegedly stole millions of dollars destined to help small business owners,” Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said. “PPP dollars often provide a bridge for businesses suffering from the effects of the pandemic. However, PPP funds are not unlimited, and those who seek to enrich themselves fraudulently through this program will be prosecuted.”

“These two defendants are accused of misdirecting federal emergency assistance from businesses who need it to stay afloat, to their own pockets, during a pandemic,” Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Chris Hacker said. “Their alleged greed affects every tax paying citizen and the FBI will make every effort to make sure funds provided by programs like PPP are used as intended.”

According to officials, Swope and Pearson, together with others, allegedly submitted false PPP applications for a number of entities claiming over $5 million in loans. These PPP applications allegedly contained materially false information such as false representations regarding the applicant entities’ total number of employees and average monthly payroll.

As a result of these false statements, lenders issued over $3.5 million in PPP loans to these various entities. Swope and the others then allegedly used the fraudulently obtained funds for unauthorized expenditures including luxury clothing, restaurants, personal rent, hotels and vacation rentals.

Both women were indicted on Feb. 24.

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, residents need trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by purchasing a digital subscription. Your subscription will allow you unlimited access to important local news stories. Our mission is to keep our community informed and we appreciate your support.

0
4
1
0
5

(1) comment

Mike Nelson

No surprise here. This is a typical fiasco run government program where the money rarely gets to where it needs to be. And the Democratic Party wants to drop a trillion dollars more into this ridiculous bill. Incredible the stupidity.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.