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Press Release

Pike County Man Convicted of Making a False Statement to a Federal Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi

Jackson, Miss. – A Pike County man pled guilty to making a false material statement to a federal officer in connection with an investigation into pandemic relief fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Mathew Broadhurst of the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG).

According to court documents, Austin Darnel Bahm, 25, made a false statement to a special agent from the DOL-OIG who was investigating COVID-19 pandemic relief fraud. Bahm made the statement while he was an inmate at South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville, Mississippi. Bahm later admitted that he had lied to the federal agent.

Bahm is scheduled to be sentenced on May 18, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Department of Labor Office of Inspector General is investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Purdie is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 21, 2023