EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Officials announced a Carbon County business owner has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with her submitting false COVID-19 assistance resulting in the loss of over $67,000.

According to U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Nora Barile, 43, of Lehighton, pleaded guilty in May-June 2020 on behalf of her business Helping Hands Cleaning Services and Home Improvement, she submitted to the United States Small Business Association (“SBA”) a false COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application containing material misrepresentations.

Investigators stated Barile would use the EIDL funds for business purposes, the SBA awarded Barile approximately $67,400 in COVID-19 relief funds over the two-year period. Barile acknowledged that she used these funds for personal expenses.

In the terms of Barile’s plea agreement, she agreed to make full restitution to the SBA.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.