Coffee County Man Sentenced for COVID Relief Fraud

Coffee County man, Kyle Waldron, 59, of Douglas, Ga., was sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay over $1.3 million in restitution for fraudulently obtaining funds meant to aid struggling businesses during the pandemic. Waldron received a 15-month prison term and was instructed by U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to repay $1,371,219. Federal agents seized $326,461 from Waldron’s accounts during the investigation, subject to forfeiture. Upon release, he will serve three years of supervised release.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress in 2020, allocated over $650 billion to support small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Waldron’s scheme involved submitting fake IRS forms and false employee numbers and revenue figures in at least 20 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) applications, resulting in over $1.3 million in disbursements from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

U.S. Attorney Jill E. Steinberg condemned Waldron’s actions as “brazen fraud and theft from pandemic relief funds,” emphasizing the collaboration with law enforcement to hold such individuals accountable. IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Demetrius Hardeman warned of continued investigations into COVID-19 fraud, while U.S. Secret Service Resident Special Agent in Charge J. Craig Reno emphasized their commitment to safeguarding financial systems and pursuing justice for financial crime victims.

The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and the U.S. Secret Service, with prosecution led by Southern District of Georgia Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew A. Josephson and J. Bishop Ravenel.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: