Fraud

Two Georgia residents are facing serious fraud and theft charges connected to a scheme to use shell truck companies to collect Coronavirus relief funds from the U.S. government.

On June 14, Curtis Porch, 48, and Dereen Porch, 43, were arrested and charged with wire fraud and theft of government property related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The indictment accuses Curtis Porch and Dereen Porch of “devis[ing] a scheme and artifice to defraud the United States Small Business Administration (“SBA”), and obtain[ing] money from the SBA, by means of false and fraudulent pretenses and representations that related to loan and/or grant requests made to the SBA, under the auspices of the CARES Act, which resulted in monies wrongfully being issued to the Defendants by the SBA.”

Authorities accuse the couple of forging documents and submitting fraudulent PPP loan applications for three trucking companies — FNP Trucking, LLC, Porch to Porch Transportation, LLC, and Buckner Transportation, LLC.

“The Government alleges that companies either did not exist, did not conduct business or only existed on paper,” authorities said in a news release

Prosecutors say that none of the three trucking companies have any assets, generated any revenue, or had any employees engaged in trucking activities on staff at the time that the loan applications were submitted.

The couple is accused of fraudulently obtaining $364,200.

If the couple is found guilty, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for wire theft and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for theft of government property.

The case is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations unit .