OIG investigation results in charges against former Amtrak employee for CARES Act fraud
September 27, 2023
NEW ORLEANS — A Houston woman and former Amtrak employee was charged August 18, 2023, with making false statements related to her application for pandemic relief funds, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Louisiana.
Bria Peters, 38, allegedly made false statements to fraudulently obtain a Paycheck Protection Program loan, a program established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act meant to provide relief for small businesses during the pandemic. Peters allegedly stated in her application she owned a clothing business in 2020 impacted by the pandemic when, in truth, she had no such business at that time. As a result, Peters wrongly received a loan for $29,166.
Peters faces a possible sentence of up to five years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines, and up to three years of supervised release for the false statements count.
The case was investigated by the Amtrak Office of Inspector General.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Reports of fraud, waste, or abuse, to include pandemic relief fraud; criminal or unethical acts affecting Amtrak’s property or operations; or mismanagement in Amtrak programs or operations can be made 24 hours a day via the Amtrak OIG Hotline at 1-800-468-5469 or online at https://direc.to/hPAu.