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South Georgia pastor pleads guilty to fraud after using COVID relief funds to buy Mercedes-Benz

Knight faces up to 20 years in prison as well as financial restitution.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Kingsland, Ga. man plead guilty to wire fraud on Friday after lying to receive COVID-19 small business assistance money. 

Mack Devon Knight, a pastor, mortician, tax preparer and restaurateur, admitted to lying in order to receive assistance from the CARES Act, according to court records. 

Knight faces up to 20 years in prison as well as financial restitution. 

“Congress provided emergency taxpayer funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Security (CARES) Act to help financially struggling small businesses during the pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney David H. Estes. “I have made fraud related to these funds a priority." 

According to court documents and testimony, Knight applied for Economic Injury Disaster Loans for multiple businesses in Camden County. 

In the loan applications, Knight lied and said he had a series of businesses that made hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue before the pandemic. 

Knight received $149,900 from the Small Business Administration for the claimed tax businesses, using a large portion of the money to buy a Mercedes-Benz sedan, officials said. That car will be given to the government as part of his plea agreement.

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