March 29, 2024

VanPelt legally changed her name to Ellen Corkrum in 2016 and applied for the loans using both her current and former names.

All of the applications she submitted had false information such as overinflated figures for monthly payroll, investigators discovered. She also misrepresented the size of her staff on the documents.

VanPelt also provided false IRS records and fake bank statements and payroll reports as supporting documentation to go along with her applications.

Federal agents seized about $2.1 million from VanPelt, who pleaded guilty to the allegations and was convicted of bank fraud in federal court Aug. 18.

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Agents said the PPP loans were designed to help small business owners with low-interest loans that were forgivable in certain circumstances.

VanPelt, once a high-ranking government official in Liberia, was indicted in the African nation on multiple corruption and financial fraud charges, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

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