MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama announced a Montgomery woman was convicted for committing COVID-19 paycheck protection program (PPP) loan fraud.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office a federal jury convicted 55-year-old Zsa Zsa Bouvier Couch from Montgomery on charges regarding loans received through the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Based on court records and evidence presented at Couch’s trial, Couch submitted at least six applications containing fraudulent information for loans under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s PPP.
Couch sought a total of over $1.6 million, In each application submitted, she falsely inflated the number of employees that worked for her purported businesses and the businesses’s average monthly payroll.
The false statements allowed her to qualify for larger PPP loans. She also provided other false information on her applications. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Couch failed to disclose that she applied for several PPP loans for the same company. Nor did she disclose her ownership over multiple businesses.
Couch also submitted falsified tax documents allowing her to receive $609,687.47 in PPP funds. After receiving the money, Couch used the funds on herself, her husband, other family members and to purchase luxury vehicles.
On April 8, 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Couch on several counts of bank fraud, making false statements to a federally insured bank and money laundering. After being convicted Couch is facing up to 30 years in federal prison.