Minnesota Businessman Sent to Prison For COVID Program Fraud
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Twin Cities man has been sentenced to nearly 7 years in federal prison for ripping off the government's COVID Paycheck Protection Program.
33-year-old Kyle Brenizer was the owner of a construction firm in Brooklyn Park that had been ordered by the state to "cease and desist" from doing business in 2018. Despite that, federal prosecutors say Brenizer submitted a "false and misleading" Paycheck Protection Program application in the name of the company that requested $841,000 in assistance.
That application was denied, but court documents state that Brenizer made a second application under the name of another person using fraudulent and falsified supporting documentation and received $841,000 in PPP funds. The US Attorney's Office for Minnesota says Brenizer then deposited the majority of the money bank account that was not connected to the construction company and used a portion of the funds to purchase a Harley Davidson motorcycle and other "impermissible expenditures."
As a result of the investigation into his application, Brenizer earlier entered guilty pleas to federal wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft charges.