Contractor said to have defrauded CARES Act program for $841,000 is charged with wire fraud, money laundering

The owner and manager of a contracting and construction company in Brooklyn Park, Minn., has been charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering related to alleged fraud against the CARES Act-created Paycheck Protection Program, a banking regulator said in a release circulated Wednesday.

This occurred against the backdrop of other, unrelated criminal charges allegedly pending against him, information in the release shows.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) said that an indictment unsealed Friday shows Kyle William Brenizer, 32, was charged with fraudulently obtaining $841,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans intended to provide relief for small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Brenizer is alleged to have applied May 1 for the PPP loans in the name of True-Cut Construction LLC, which he owned, but he and True-Cut were ordered in August 2018 by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to cease and desist from doing business. The company’s contractor license expired in December 2019 and was never renewed, the release said.

The application for PPP funds was initially denied, but Brenizer submitted it again May 12, the release said, this time under the name of someone else who he claimed was the 90% owner of True-Cut. It said he falsely stated that True-Cut’s average monthly payroll was $336,400 for some 30 employees, submitted false supporting documentation, and “falsely certified that he was not subject to any pending criminal charges even though he was allegedly named in multiple felony charges pending in the State of Minnesota for such charges as check forgery, identify theft, and theft by swindle.”

He received the requested $841,000 May 13, it said, and instead of using the money for permissible business expenses, transferred some $650,000 to a bank account unrelated to True-Cut “and made a $29,000 payment to purchase a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, spent over $1,000 on golf expenses, among other retail and entertainment expenditures for his personal benefit.”

Brenizer was taken into custody Friday, it said.

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