ST. LOUIS – A woman from Franklin County, Missouri on Wednesday admitted fraudulently applying for three Paycheck Protection Program loans while being prosecuted on an unrelated $727,000 embezzlement case.
On Aug. 3, 2020, Christen Diane Schulte pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of money laundering. She admitted embezzling funds from her employer and other individuals and entities associated with her employer. She then sought a series of delays in her sentencing.
On Wednesday, Schulte, 36, admitted that between March 22, 2021 and May 19, 2021, while awaiting that sentencing, she fraudulently applied for three PPP loans, designed to help save small businesses and jobs from economic losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schulte admitted lying on the loans when asked if she was facing or had been convicted of a felony, and when asked the same question about a felony involving fraud, bribery, embezzlement or a false statement in an application for a loan or for federal assistance.
She also lied about the gross income for the company, the “Mama Bear Cake Company.”
One application for a $13,691 loan was rejected due to her criminal history. A $13,566 loan was approved by a different financial institution. She then sought and received a “second draw” of $13,566 from that company, receiving the money on May 19, 2021.
Eight days later, Schulte was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison and ordered to pay $517,140 in the embezzlement case. She began serving that sentence on Aug. 30, 2021.
Schulte was indicted in the new case on Nov. 10, 2021. On Wednesday Schulte pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Matthew T. Schelp to three more counts of bank fraud.
She is scheduled to be sentenced December 28 and could face up to 30 years in prison on each count. She faces an additional penalty of up to ten years for committing her crimes while on pre-trial release in the embezzlement case.
The FBI investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Bateman is prosecuting the case.