Mo. woman pleads guilty to fraudulently applying for $168K pandemic loan

A Missouri woman has admitted to fraudulently applying for an almost $168,000 Payroll Protection Program loan during the COVID-19 pandemic
Published: Jul. 6, 2023 at 4:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2023 at 10:16 PM CDT
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SOUTHEAST Mo. (KFVS) - A Missouri woman admitted to fraudulently applying for a $167,999 Payroll Protection Program loan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maxine Michelle Burns, 44, of Willow Springs, Mo., pleaded guilty to federal charges on Thursday, July 6 for bank fraud and making false statements to a financial institution.

Burns admitted to applying for a PPP loan from the Small Business Administration on January 20, 2021 using the name of the owner of a residential treatment facility in Poplar Bluff without authorization, as well as the owner’s signature stamp.

According to a release from the Office of United States Attorney of Eastern District of Missouri Sayler Fleming, the loan was granted, and Burns admitted using the money to buy vehicles for herself and pay for vacations.

On September 16, 2021, Burns then applied to the SBA for forgiveness of the PPP loan, falsely claiming that the money had been used for payroll and other permissible purposes. Her application was granted and the loan was forgiven.

At her sentencing on September 28, Burns faces up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both. She will also be ordered to repay the money and has already agreed to do so.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Willis is prosecuting the case.