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Press Release

Missouri Woman Admits $135,000 Pandemic Loan Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A woman pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis Thursday and admitted fraudulently obtaining $135,622 in loans through a pandemic relief program.

Edna E. McGowan-Baker, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and two counts of bank fraud and admitted engaging in a scheme between May 2020 and September 2021 to fraudulently obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The loans were intended to aid small small businesses in paying and retaining employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

McGowan-Baker applied for PPP loans for five different companies in her name. At the time, only two of the companies were actually in operation. On the loan applications, McGowan-Baker misrepresented the companies’ payroll, number of employees and annual income in order to inflate the amount of PPP loan money she could receive. She also submitted fraudulent tax forms to support these misrepresentations. Finally, she certified that she would use the loans for payroll and other authorized expenses but actually used the money for her own bills, personal purchases and in payments to others. 

McGowan-Baker is scheduled to be sentenced June 5. The wire fraud charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. The bank fraud charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both.

The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Clow is prosecuting the case.

Anyone with information about pandemic fraud should call the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at


Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer,

Updated March 7, 2024

Financial Fraud