ST. LOUIS – A federal judge has sentenced a Florissant woman for fraud after she acquired two pandemic-era loans worth more than $100,000.
Lakenya M. Hobbs, 40, has been ordered to repay $101,567 to the Small Business Administration. She was also sentenced to one year in prison.
Investigators say Hobbs defrauded the Paycheck Protection Program, which provided forgivable loans to small businesses to help them save jobs during the pandemic.
In March 2021, she submitted a loan application with false and fraudulent information, but received an $81,000 loan. Rather than using the loan to save jobs, she used the money on electronics, restaurants and airfare. She also took some of the amount out in cash.
In May 2021, Hobbs submitted a loan application to a different banking institution with false information and received around $20,000. Hobbs was granted forgiveness on both loans, falsely claiming she used the PPP money for payroll.
Before her sentencing, Hobbs pleaded guilty last November to one count of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud.