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Ruby Franke and sisters got thousands in PPP loans, records show

Ruby Franke in Court
Posted at 1:08 PM, Sep 14, 2023

Ruby Franke, the Utah parenting advice YouTuber facing child abuse charges, took more than $80,000 in since-forgiven loans from the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP), records show.

LISTEN: Transcript of 911 call leading to arrest of Ruby Franke, Jodi Hildebrandt

Two of her sisters, who have both publicly condemned Franke and said Franke and business partner Jodi Hildebrandt’s arrests “needed to happen,” also borrowed thousands of dollars in PPP loans that have since been forgiven.

Franke and her two sisters, Bonnie Hoellein and Ellie Mecham, each applied for two rounds of PPP loans on behalf of their productions companies. Like their sister, Hoellien and Mecham are both YouTube and social media personalties, with 1.4 million and 1.6 million YouTube subscribers, respectively.

The loan program was designed to help small businesses weather the storm of COVID-19 and pay employees who lost hours due to the pandemic. But plenty of influencers and content creators used it to pay themselves, raising questions about abuse and misuse.

Franke’s production company — which shared the name of her since-shuttered parenting YouTube channel, 8 Passengers — received two PPP loans amounting to $83,620, according to ProPublica’s loan tracker, which pulls data from the SBA. The company reported having two employees and was owned and operated by Franke and her husband, Kevin. The couple’s YouTube channel was deleted last year.

Click here to read the rest of the article on The Salt Lake Tribune