Baton Rouge Woman Sentenced to 48 Months in Federal Prison for Defrauding the PPP and EIDL Loan Programs and Laundering the Fraudulent Proceeds
A federal grand jury recently returned a three-count indictment charging Brittany Monroe Knapp, age 34, of Denham Springs, Louisiana, with wire fraud and identity theft. Knapp appeared for her arraignment today and pled not guilty to the pending charges.
According to the indictment, from 2014 to 2019, Knapp worked for Oceans Behavioral, LLC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oceans Healthcare. Between October 2017 and December 2019, Knapp engaged in a scheme to defraud Oceans Healthcare, wherein she created and controlled multiple PayPal online merchant accounts, and used the Oceans Healthcare corporate credit cards of two employees to send funds electronically to the PayPal online merchant accounts she controlled. Once funds were credited to PayPal accounts, she transferred these funds into her personal bank accounts.
Further, Knapp allegedly forged an employee’s signature on “capital expense request” approval forms, falsely representing that she was authorized to incur the aforementioned fraudulent expenses, then created false and fraudulent invoices in the names of real businesses, falsely representing that said companies had provided the goods and services to Oceans Behavioral. Using these false and fraudulent invoices, Knapp submitted “expense reports” to Oceans Healthcare electronically that falsely represented that real businesses had provided the purchased goods and services to Oceans Behavioral. These expense reports caused Oceans Healthcare to pay for the fraudulent credit card charges.
Throughout the course of the fraudulent scheme, Knapp, without authority, embezzled over $750,000 of Oceans Healthcare funds to which she was not entitled.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter J. Smyczek.
NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by a grand jury. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.