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Columbus couple arrested after COVID relief money scam

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – Federal agents took a Columbus couple into custody today on accusations of fraud involving coronavirus relief money.

A federal grand jury indicted 48-year-old Curtis Porch and 43-year-old Dereen Porch on charges of wire fraud and theft of government property related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act.

According to the indictment, law enforcement say the local pair stole or converted $364,000 dollars from the Small Business Administration.

The Porches are accused of submitting fraudulent loan applications last summer, seeking CARES Act money for shell companies not impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If convicted on all counts, they face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

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