WAUKESHA, Wisconsin. – Thomas Smith of Pewaukee pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud for his role in fraudulently obtaining over $ 1 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by Small Business Administration (SBA) under Coronavirus Aid, Aid and Economic Security (CARE) Act.
The announcement was made on Tuesday February 23 by Acting US Attorney Richard G. Frohling of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
As part of his guilty plea, Smith, 46, admitted that he fraudulently solicited over $ 1.2 million in PPP loans through claims made to a financial institution insured on behalf of eight different companies. .
According to his plea deal, Smith had fraudulent loan applications submitted which made numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ respective salary expenses. Based on these statements, the financial institution approved and funded over $ 1 million in loans. According to the plea documents, Smith then ordered his co-conspirators to send him some of the P3 funds within days of their receipt and used the proceeds for personal expenses.
Smith’s sentencing is set for June 2.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Control hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF online complaint form.