Liberia: Ellen Corkrum Hooked for Defrauding U.S. Govt of U.S.$6m Millionin Covid Relief Fund

Ellen Corkrum, a fugitive from Liberia based in the United States, will face a 30-year jail sentence next year after pleading guilty to defrauding the U.S. Government of over US$6 million of Covid relief funds.

It can be recalled that Madam Corkrum who served as Managing Director for the Liberia Airport Authority allegedly defrauded the Liberian government and fled during the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf era.

Corkrum, according to reports, legally changed name to Hunter VanPelt in 2016.

According to the U.S. Atlanta Journal, submitted PPP loan applications under both her current and former names, Erskine said. She applied for loans for six different companies she owns or controls: Georgia Nephrology Physician Associated; United Healthcare Group & Co.; Nephrology Network Group LLC; First Corporate International; Corkrum Consolidated Inc.; and Kiwi International Inc.

In each PPP loan application, VanPelt (Corkrum) falsely represented the average monthly payroll and number of employees working for each company, Erskine said. She also included false IRS records and bank statements. In total, VanPelt requested nearly $8 million in PPP funds and was awarded a little more than $6 million.

PPP loans are granted from a COVID-19 relief fund established by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The forgivable loans are meant for small businesses to encourage job retention and can be used for payroll costs, rent, utilities and interest on mortgages.

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