CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In a continuing partnership, the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office Public
Integrity and Fraud Unit helped to secure a guilty plea in a case involving fraudulent use of Covid
relief money.
Tamir Pratt, 20, of Dunbar, pleaded guilty in federal court to receipt of stolen money, admitting to
a scheme to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of $20,832 in COVID-19 relief loans
guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and
Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
According to court documents and statements made in court, Pratt applied for a PPP loan for a
business he allegedly had in April 2021. Pratt admitted that the business was not in operation on
February 15, 2020, though that was a requirement to qualify for a PPP loan, and he falsely
certified that it was. He also falsely reported that he earned approximately $100,000 in gross
income in 2020. Pratt admitted that he did not spend the fraudulent loan proceeds on any
permissible business expenses.
“We are proud to be a part of the Covid Fraud Enforcement Task Force,” State Auditor JB
McCuskey said. “Unfortunately, during Covid, fraud ran rampant. It is our duty to send the
message that the misuse of the public’s money is not okay, and we will continue these efforts to
crack down on these types of crimes, big and small.”
Pratt is scheduled to be sentenced on July 6, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in
prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Pratt also owes $20,832 in
This was a joint effort by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West
Virginia, the WV State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and the West Virginia State
Auditor’s Office Public Integrity and Fraud Unit (PIFU).
The investigation is part of an ongoing effort through the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force
to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.