Pearson is listed as an individual healthcare specialist in the national provider database maintained by the U.S. government.
“PPP dollars often provide a bridge for businesses suffering from the effects of the pandemic,” Erskine said. “However, PPP funds are not unlimited, and those who seek to enrich themselves fraudulently through this program will be prosecuted.”
“These two defendants are accused of misdirecting federal emergency assistance from businesses who need it to stay afloat, to their own pockets, during a pandemic,” FBI Atlanta Special Agent Chris Hacker said.
The indictments of Swope and Pearson could be a harbinger for a wave of fraud cases related to pandemic relief. In a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Erskine said crimes related to PPP funds were on the rise.
“We have seen increasing numbers of criminals trying to capitalize by diverting funds from their intended use,” Erskine told the AJC. “And unfortunately, as you would expect, it only diverts critical funds from the businesses and the employees who desperately need the resources. That is a growing kind of fraud in this district and nationally. So I expect that we’re going to be working on PPP fraud cases and COVID Relief Fund type of cases for years to come.”