PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Peoria man was sentenced to a year in prison for theft of government money.
According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of Illinois, 28-year-old Samuel M. Powell II had admitted to stealing government money through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was meant to provide small businesses with funds to pay payroll costs and related expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Powell applied for a PPP loan on Feb. 22, 2021, and claimed he operated a barber shop since June 2018. He was approved for a $20,000 PPP loan. After the loans were deposited into his account, he withdrew the money, then filed a Loan Forgiveness Application, certifying that he used the funds per PPP rules, and the loan was forgiven.
After an investigation, it was learned that Powell was not a licensed barber and did not own a barber shop.
Powell was indicted on Dec. 21, 2021, and he was originally released on bond, but a warrant was issued for him after he removed his electronic monitoring equipment and failed to show for a hearing in February.
He has since remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
After serving his year in prison, he will serve two years on supervised release. Powell will also have to pay restitution of $20,000 for the PPP loan and $350 for damaging the electronic monitoring equipment he was ordered to wear when he was released on bond.
The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and FBI investigated the case.