SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — A man from Springfield was sentenced on Wednesday after pleading guilty to committing COVID-19 wire fraud.

Charles Jones, 26, was sentenced to five months in prison followed by three years of parole. Three months of his parole will be spent in home confinement.

Jones was indicted in December of 2020 and pleaded guilty in March of this year. Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing showed that Jones applied for a loan funded through the CARES Act that had been passed in response to the pandemic. The funds, issued by the Small Business Administration, were intended to provide low interest loans to businesses that could not cover fixed costs due to the pandemic.

In his application, Jones claimed that he operated an apparel business that employed 11 people and had gross revenues of $1.2 million in the year before Jan. 31, 2020. This was false, as Jones did not operate a business or employ anyone. The fraud was reported by a local credit union and the funds were eventually returned to the Small Business Administration.

“We appreciate the efforts of law enforcement and local financial institutions who have helped identify individuals who have fraudulently obtained pandemic related funds,” Assistant United States Attorney Sierra Senor-Moore said in a statement.

People who are aware of COVID-19 related loans that they suspect were obtained or forgiven fraudulently are asked to report it to the Office of Inspector General for the Small Business Administration online or by calling 1-800-767-0385. Reports can be made anonymously.