Columbus couple indicted on CARES Act fraud expenses


June 19 – COLUMBUS – Two Columbus residents were taken into custody after a federal grand jury filed indictments charging them both of wire fraud and theft of government property in connection with Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Curtis Porch, 48, and Dereen Porch, 43, both of Columbus, were taken into custody by federal agents after a federal grand jury filed a four-count charge on triple wire fraud and one theft of government property. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000 for wire theft and a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000 for theft of government property. A charge is an allegation of criminal behavior. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The defendants appeared in federal court.

According to the indictment filed, the defendants filed fraudulent loan applications with the Small Business Administration (SBA) in June and July 2020 to seek CARES bill for mailbox companies that have not suffered losses due to damage related to the COVID-19 pandemic . The government claims that companies either didn’t exist, didn’t do business, or existed only on paper. As a result of the fraud, the defendants are charged with stealing or converting $ 364,200 from SBA.

FBI and IRS Criminal Investigations are investigating the case. U.S. Assistant Attorney Melvin Hyde is pursuing the case.