GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An East Tennessee woman has been sentenced to a stint in federal prison after she was convicted of fraudulently obtaining a loan and using it on a trip to Florida and plastic surgery.
Leslie D. Bethea, 30, currently of Surgoinsville, Tenn., pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to her U.S. parole officer. She was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $20,805 in restitution on Monday.
She will be on supervised probation for three years after her release from prison.
In 2021, Bethea was given a two-year prison term and ordered to repay $85,000 for a scheme involving identity theft and fraudulent credit cards. While on supervised release following that sentence, she obtained a fraudulent Payroll Protection Program loan in the amount of $20,805 in 2021.
She falsely claimed on the loan application that she made $99,835 in 2019, a year when she was in prison, and that she had never been convicted of any fraud offenses in the past five years.
According to the criminal complaint, she used part of the loan on a five-day stay at Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida in April 2022. She also paid for plastic surgery during the stay using money from the loan.
Her report to her probation officer that month claimed she had only received $200 in April and that she had not traveled out of the state.
An investigation by the United States Secret Service led to the prosecution.