Another prison sentence in scheme to defraud CARES Act loans

July 6, 2022

Land Line Staff


The second of two people indicted in June 2021 in connection with a scheme to defraud the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act loan program has been sentenced to prison.

Curtis Porch, 48, and Dereen Porch, 43, both of Columbus, Ga., were indicted on June 9, 2021, for wire fraud and theft of government property, according to statements issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. An investigation determined they had submitted loan applications to the Small Business Administration on behalf of fictitious trucking companies in an attempt to steal about $364,200 in CARES Act funds.

Dereen Porch in November pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in connection with the scheme. She was sentenced to 21 months of incarceration and three years of supervised release on June 14 by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The court also ordered her to pay $230,300 in restitution and a $200 special assessment.

The U.S. DOT Office of Inspector General reported it conducted the investigation in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Curtis Porch pleaded guilty Jan. 4 to one count of theft of government property, according to another statement by the U.S. DOT Office of Inspector General. Porch used false statements and fraudulent pretenses when submitting CARES Act loan or grant applications on behalf of sham transportation companies in an attempt to steal about $133,000 from the Small Business Administration, according to the federal statement.

Curtis Porch was sentenced on June 29 to 21 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release in connection with the CARES Act fraud scheme, according to an online report by WTVM. Curtis Porch was ordered to pay restitution of more than $133,000 to the SBA and pay $152,000 to the Muscogee County Clerk of Superior Court.

Dereen Porch and Curtis Porch also were involved in a plan to steal more than $1 million in public funds from the Muscogee County Superior Court Clerk Office in Georgia masterminded by a court employee, Willie Demps, according to a report from WRBL. Read the indictment posted by WRBL here.

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