Skip to main content
Press Release

Anchorage businesswoman charged with fraudulently obtaining and laundering roughly $1M in Covid-19 relief funds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska
The defendant used the money to facilitate purchasing a new home and pay employees of a marijuana dispensary.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A federal grand jury in Alaska returned an indictment charging an Anchorage businesswoman with allegedly misusing Covid-19 relief funds for personal gain.

According to court documents, Cheryl Labrie, 36, is the owner of AKBS LLC, an entity with the trade name Liberty Tax Service that provides bookkeeping, payroll and bill pay services in Alaska. Over the course of a year, Labrie applied for and obtained multiple federal loans and advances, totaling approximately $1 million.

In her first loan application, the defendant failed to disclose a prior felony conviction on the application, and then continued to claim that all statements on the original loan application were true. The indictment alleges that in subsequent applications the defendant inflated her businesses’ average monthly payroll expenses and the total number of employees.

In total, Labrie applied for and obtained an Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) advance, two EIDL loans, two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and the forgiveness of two PPP loans for AKBS LLC. The funds loaned to the business were allegedly transferred from her official business bank account to her personal bank account. She used the money to facilitate the purchase of a new home, pay an outstanding tax debt of a separate entity, and pay the payroll expenses for a marijuana dispensary.

Labrie is charged with four counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1343, two counts of bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1344, and six counts of money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1957. Labrie made her initial court appearance on Feb. 1 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kyle F. Reardon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska.

U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska and Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge Weston King of the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General Western Regional Office made the announcement.

The Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the FBI Anchorage Field Office are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Heyman and Mac Caille Petursson are prosecuting the case.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Justice Department in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The task force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



Reagan Zimmerman

Public Affairs Officer

Updated February 19, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-13