Siblings in Missouri each sentenced to prison term for pandemic fraud

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U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk this week sentenced two siblings to 15 months in prison each and ordered them to repay $448,536 in pandemic loans that they’d fraudulently obtained.

Irvin Coats, 44, of Florissant, was sentenced Thursday and Pamela S. Hubbard, 46, of St. Louis, was sentenced Tuesday

Coats pleaded guilty on June 5 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Hubbard pleaded guilty to the same charge on May 31. Both admitted fraudulently applying for and receiving Paycheck Protection Program loans that were intended to help struggling small businesses and save jobs. The pair sought the money not for the intended purpose but to open a “Wing Strip” restaurant in Florissant. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Bateman said during Thursday’s hearings that the PPP loan program was intended to be a lifeline for millions of people who were affected by the pandemic. “While all those people were struggling, the defendant and his co-defendant found an opportunity,” he said, adding that loan money Coats and Hubbard received was not available to help others. 

On May 8, 2020, Coats applied for a $53,125 loan in the name of a defunct security company, Abounding Protection LLC, that had no revenue or employees. He falsely claimed to employ 12 people and claimed he would use the loan to help pay their total monthly salaries of $21,250. He also submitted a false IRS tax form W-3 to support his application. He was successful in fraudulently obtaining the loan. 

On March 5, 2021, Coats applied for and later received a second loan for $24,166. He again made false statements in the loan application and submitted a fraudulent IRS form. 

On June 11, 2020, Hubbard sought and later received a $371,245 loan for Star Shyne LLC, a cleaning service. She falsely inflated the number of employees and submitted fraudulent financial reports, IRS forms, and an altered check in support of her loan.

Hubbard and Coats used the money to construct the Wing Strip and for improvements on their mother’s condominium in Florissant. That condo has been sold and the $82,351 in proceeds will go towards repaying the PPP loans.

The FBI investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Bateman prosecuted the case. 

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