During his sentencing last week, James Theodore Polzin, 48, was also ordered to pay more than $2.2 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty to federal fraud and money laundering charges last year in connection with a scheme in which he filed a litany of bogus loan applications claiming bogus employees and income for business entities which he owned and operated.
While the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has successfully helped many businesses pay workers during the pandemic, it has been plagued by bad loans and rampant fraud. To date, the Justice Department said it has opened more than 95 criminal cases against more than 150 defendants and seized more than $75 million in cash, as well as real estate and luxury goods.
CNN discovered that he received the money for companies he classified as tax firms and related entities, even though he was not a certified public accountant and had been barred from doing so by a court injunction. pretend to be an accountant. A series of disgruntled clients also told CNN that he took their money and either never submitted their taxes or filed them incorrectly.
In his plea agreement, Polzin admitted to submitting 23 fraudulent loan applications for more than $3.5 million in loans from the PPP program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, another SBA initiative aimed specifically at companies that have lost revenue due to Covid-19. All but six of the applications were approved, and Polzin then used government relief funds to buy a new home in Arizona and a flashy car, according to bank documents cited in court documents. He also hid some of the money in offshore accounts.
Polzin, who is married to a Ukrainian citizen and has spent much of his time abroad, reportedly sold his Porsche for $120,000 the day before his arrest last year, about two weeks after CNN’s investigation. , on his way to the airport with a one-way ticket to Ukraine.
Previously, Polzin did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment on his sentencing.
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