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Ashburn woman convicted of $2.5M pandemic fraud

Rose-Marie Nsahlai and her husband used Paycheck Protection Program loans to make a down payment on a 7,000-square-foot home in Leesburg, court records show.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal jury convicted an Ashburn woman Monday on charges of conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering stemming from a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan scheme. 

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Rose-Marie Nsahlai, 47, and her husband fraudulently obtained two PPP loans. The PPP was a program instituted by Congress to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic continue to pay salaries or wages to their employees.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said Nsahlai carried out the scheme in connection with two of her husband's businesses by creating fraudulent payroll documents for each business, and then submitted that documentation in support of the PPP loan applications. 

The documentation showed that her husband's businesses had an annual payroll of over $17 million in 2019, and dozens of employees. The US Attorney's Office said the businesses had few, if any, employees. 

In total, Nsahlai and her husband fraudulently obtained approximately $2,501,753 in loan proceeds, and they then spent those funds on items unrelated to any legitimate PPP-related expense. Those items included the down-payment on a 7,000-square-foot home in Leesburg.

Nsahlai's husband pleaded guilty to the scheme in 2021. 

Nsahlai faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when she is scheduled to be sentenced on July 19. 

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