Alabama woman defrauded federal COVID relief program of more than $600,000, prosecutors allege

Published 2:02 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2023

An Alabama woman has been charged with defrauding a federal COVID-19 relief program of more than $600,000, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

A 12-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Tarnisha Doss Harrell, 46, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering related to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and laundering the proceeds, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Carlton L. Peeples.

According to the indictment, from July 2020 through June 2021, Harrell applied for and received two fraudulent PPP loans and conspired with four other Tuscaloosa residents to apply for an additional six fraudulent loans for which she received a share of the proceeds.

Harrell submitted loan applications containing material misrepresentations and supported by falsified and fraudulent documentation.

The eight loans total $603,976.

If convicted, Harrell faces up to 20 years in prison.

FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan “Jack” Harrington is prosecuting the case.

An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.