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Press Release

Baton Rouge Woman Sentenced to Three Years in Federal Prison for Defrauding COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Programs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Louisiana

United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. announced that Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced Linda Gurvin, age 56, a resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 36 months in federal prison following her convictions for wire fraud and unlawful monetary transactions.  Following her release from federal prison, she will be required to serve three years supervised release.  The Court further sentenced Gurvin to pay $496,673.78 in restitution to the United States Small Business Administration and ordered her to forfeit an additional $447,600 in proceeds from her offenses.  Previously in this investigation, the United States seized a 2020 Range Rover that Gurvin purchased with fraudulent proceeds, and at today’s sentencing, the Court ordered her interest in the vehicle forfeited.

According to admissions made as part of her guilty pleas, Gurvn submitted six fraudulent applications seeking more than $1 million in federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), funds that were designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who were suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gurvin filed several applications in the names of businesses that she had formed prior to the pandemic but which had had closed years earlier.  She then filed two fraudulent applications in the names of new entities she formed after the start of the pandemic, solely for the purposes of her scheme—a purported non-profit entity that she called Gurvin’s Marine & Air Force Guardian Angels Foundation, and an entity she called Heaven’s Paradise Church of All Nations.  Throughout the applications, Gurvin made false representations regarding the businesses and their operations, and she submitted fraudulent documents intended to bolster the applications, such as fraudulent documents that purported to be the businesses’ federal tax filings.  Based on the false representations, Gurvin attempted to obtain more than $1 million in COVID-19 relief funds and actually received more than $440,000.

Meanwhile, as Gurvin received proceeds from the applications, she made frequent transactions to move the funds among numerous bank accounts that she controlled at the time, before spending the funds on personal expenses and purchases, such as by making large down payments on a 2020 Land Rover Range Rover and a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas.

This case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Small Business Administration - Office of Inspector General.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alan A. Stevens, who also serves as Senior Litigation Counsel, and J. Brad Casey.

Updated May 3, 2024

Disaster Fraud
Financial Fraud