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An Emanuel County woman has been sentenced in federal court for creating a fake business and using it to receive funding from a federal COVID-19 small business relief program.

Tracy Kirkland was sentenced last week to 33 months in prison by U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hal. She was also ordered to forfeit 2019 Dodge Charger investigators said she purchased with the funds, pay restitution of more than $66,000, and serve three years of supervised release after completion of her prison sentence. Kirkland will have to serve her full term in prison as there is no parole in the federal system.

Kirkland had falsely claimed to own a business called Kirkland’s Hair N Beauty, a fictitious business with three employees in Swainsboro. She received a Small Business Administration loan which she deposited into her personal bank account. Kirkland, a previously convicted felon who was on state probation, then used the funds to purchase the Charger and made large cash withdrawals not associated with any business-related purchases.

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