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Ganell Tubbs, 41, of Little Rock pleaded guilty to bank fraud late Thursday after fraudulently obtaining nearly $2 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
“This defendant took almost two million dollars that were intended to keep small businesses afloat during COVID-related shutdowns,” Cody Hiland, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, said in a news release. “Hardworking Arkansans needed these funds to pay their employees and support their families, and we will not tolerate fraudsters who lie to obtain these funds and then use them for their personal enjoyment. We ask anyone with information on suspected PPP fraud to please report it.”
Tubbs was arrested in July. She faced two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making a false statement on a loan application, and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction with proceeds of unlawful activity. Tubbs pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud in exchange for dismissal of the remaining charges.
U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller has accepted her plea and will sentence Tubbs at a later date.
The charges stem from her claiming to own two businesses that were not in good standing, according to the Arkansas secretary of state: Little Piglet Soap Co. LLC and Suga Girl Customs LLC. Both also listed her residence and personal phone number as their contact information.
Tubbs submitted a PPP application for Suga Girl Customs on July 30, claiming to have paid nearly $1.39 million in wages and compensation during the first quarter of 2020. She was approved for a nearly $1.52 million loan and received the money on May 5. Tubbs used the proceeds to make an $8,000 payment on her student loan and spent about $6,000 online.
She submitted another PPP application on May 5 for The Little Piglet Soap Co. and received a $414,375 PPP loan for that business.