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Champlin man pleads guilty to fraudulently obtaining $1.2 million in PPP funds

Despite not actually owning a business at all, the man received $1.2 million in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program

A Champlin man has pled guilty to fraudulently claiming $1.2 million in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program created to help businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite not owning a business at all, 56-year-old Donald Trosin said in federal court in Iowa he filed more than 20 applications to the Small Business Administration, in which he claimed he had 120 employees and over $5 million in payroll expenses. He also said he wired the funds to people in other states. 

Trosin was convicted of and pled guilty to one count of major fraud against the United States and one count of money laundering conspiracy. He faces up to 20 years in prison with three years of supervised release and more than $5 million in fines.

At least two other Minnesotans have been charged in similar cases.

In August, Kyle Brenzier of St. Paul was charged with fraudulently obtaining $841,000 in PPP funds. He had applied for loans for a business that the state had already shut down two years ago. 

In November, Aditya Raj Sharma of Maple Grove was charged with fraudulently filing for loans, ultimately obtaining $500,000, which he used to install a pool at his home. 

The U.S. Department of Justice currently lists more than 70 criminal cases involving PPP fraud. In late January, the DOJ said attorneys had prosecuted more than 100 people. 

“The PPP program represented critical help at a critical time,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt told reporters in September. “Unfortunately, the crisis brings out not only those that try to help others, but those who try to take advantage of the crisis for personal gain.”

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