A Minnesota man has been charged with fraudulently obtaining $841,000 in coronavirus relief loans for a business that had been shut down by the state two years ago.
Kyle Brenizer, 32, of St. Paul, was able to get the sum from the Payment Protection Program (PPP), which was designed to provide relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19, for the business he owned and managed, True-Cut Construction LLC.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office of Minnesota, Brenizer and True-Cut were ordered by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to cease and desist from doing business in August 2018, and its contractor license expired in December 2019.
Despite this, Brenizer allegedly made a "false and misleading PPP application" on behalf of True-Cut on May 1, which was initially denied. He then re-submitted it on May 12, this time concealing his name by applying in the name of another person who Brenizer claimed was the 90% owner of the company.
He falsely claimed that the average monthly payroll was $336,400 for around 30 employees, submitted falsified bank statements and IRS documents, and certified he wasn't subject to any criminal charges despite having multiple felony charges pending including for check forgery, identity theft, and theft by swindle.
"Due to these various misrepresentations and omissions, on May 13, 2020, Brenizer's second application was approved, and he received $841,000 in PPP funds," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Once the payment was sent, he transferred $650,000 to a bank account unrelated to the business, and used $29,000 to buy a Harley Davidson and $1,000 on golf.
He has been charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.