CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A Logan, West Virginia, woman was sentenced for a fraud scheme to obtain over $42,000 in COVID-19 relief loans she did not qualify for.

The United States Department of Justice says (DOJ) Alexis Ransom, 25, applied for three Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for her claimed business. She stated her business’ tradenames were Renae’s Fashion Conculting LLC and Momma & Me Boutique, according to court records.

Ransom admitted she falsely claimed her two tradenames were established in 2019 and made a combined $135,900 in gross income that year as well as in 2020. Investigators found that Ransom’s business and its tradenames did not participate in significant activity before Feb. 15, 2020.

Federal PPP loans provide financial assistance to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The DOJ says businesses must use those loans for payroll, mortgages, rent and utilities.

Ransom acquired two PPP loans worth $13,937.50 and one worth $14,375.00 that totaled $42,250.00, according to the DOJ. She admitted she later applied to have all three loans forgiven despite that she did not spend the funds on approved business expenses.

The DOJ says the Small Business Administration forgave her loans in August 2021.

Ransom also admitted she submitted a false Internal Revenue Service Form related to the first loan application for Renae’s Fashion Consulting LLC, court records show.

The DOJ says Ransom later pleaded guilty to wire fraud. She was sentenced to five years of federal probation and must pay $42,250 in restitution, according to U.S. Attorney Will Thompson.

The West Virginia State Police, United States Secret Service, and Department of Justice, plus the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force helped with this case.

Anyone with information on COVID-19 fraud crimes can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud’s Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or via the Web Complaint Form.