Alabama couple admits they stole COVID pandemic money, bought house, took vacation

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

A Madison County, Alabama, couple pleaded guilty today to defrauding the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Carlton L. Peeples.

John D. Scoggins, 43, and Jennifer C. Scoggins, 37, husband and wife, both of Huntsville, pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Madeline H. Haikala to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to the plea agreement, between February and June 2021, the Scogginses conspired to defraud the SBA and the United States Government by receiving nearly $1.2 million in fraudulent PPP loans on behalf of four purportedly operational businesses. The Scogginses submitted loan applications containing material misrepresentations and supported by falsified and fraudulent documentation. The Scogginses used the PPP loan funds for unauthorized purposes, including purchasing a home and taking a family vacation.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit wire fraud is 20 years in prison.