Gatlinburg Woman Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud
A Gatlinburg woman will spend over two years in prison after pleading guilty to bilking the federal government out of several hundred thousand dollars. 35 year old Sarrah Wilhite of Gatlinburg Willhite agreed to plead guilty to an indictment charging her with one count of wire fraud related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act…known as the CARES act. According to the indictment, on November 27, 2021, Willhite submitted an electronic application to the Small Business Administration requesting an Economic Injury Disaster Loan on behalf of Rescue Army Nation Ministries, a nonprofit organization purportedly owned and operated by Willhite for charitable or religious purposes. Willhite submitted false documents in support of her application, including a Profit and Loss Statement that Willhite fabricated solely for the purpose of obtaining the loan. She also falsely stated that Rescue Army Nation Ministries employed eight employees when in fact, it employed none. The SBA approved the application based on Willhite’s fabricated documents and false statements and in December of 2021 deposited $346,600 into Wilhite’s bank account which she then used for personal expenses…including a trip to Disney World in Orlando. She will spend 27 months in prison and pay all that money back to the government.