At his sentencing final week, James Theodore Polzin, 48, was additionally ordered to pay greater than $2.2 million in restitution. He pleaded responsible to federal fraud and cash laundering fees final 12 months in reference to a scheme through which he filed a litany of phony mortgage functions claiming faux workers and revenues for enterprise entities he owned and operated.
Whereas the Small Enterprise Administration’s Paycheck Safety Program (PPP) efficiently helped many firms pay staff through the pandemic, it was affected by questionable lending and rampant fraud. So far, the Justice Division says it has opened greater than 95 felony instances in opposition to greater than 150 defendants and has seized greater than $75 million in money proceeds, in addition to actual property and luxurious items.
CNN discovered that he obtained this cash for companies he categorized as tax companies and associated entities although he wasn’t an authorized public accountant and a courtroom injunction had barred him from masquerading as one. A string of disgruntled shoppers additionally informed CNN that he had taken their cash and by no means submitted their taxes or that he filed them incorrectly.
In his plea settlement, Polzin admitted to submitting 23 fraudulent mortgage functions for greater than $3.5 million in loans from the PPP program and the Financial Harm Catastrophe Mortgage (EIDL) program, one other SBA initiative meant particularly for companies that misplaced income resulting from Covid-19. All however six of the functions had been authorized and Polzin went on to make use of the federal government aid funds to purchase a brand new house in Arizona and a flashy automobile, in response to financial institution information cited in courtroom filings. He additionally stashed a number of the money in offshore accounts.
Polzin, who’s married to a Ukrainian citizen and had spent a lot of his time abroad, allegedly offered his Porsche for $120,000 the day earlier than he was arrested final 12 months, round two weeks after CNN’s investigation, whereas he was on his method to the airport with a one-way ticket to Ukraine.
Polzin beforehand didn’t reply to CNN’s requests for remark. His lawyer didn’t reply to a request for remark about his sentencing.
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