mobile btn
Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Phoenix man charged with fraud over $450,000 in COVID relief funds

© Shutterstock

A Phoenix man is in custody after being charged with fraudulently applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans, investigators with the federal government said.

James Theodore Polzin, 47, of Mesa, Ariz., was charged with three charges of fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits and three counts of wire fraud.

Investigators said Polzin allegedly applied for PPP loans using false loan applications that included nonexistent employees and revenues for businesses he supposedly owned and operated. Additionally, he submitted supporting loan documents for each application that contradicted the information previously given. All of the documents were false and fraudulent, investigators said.

At the same time, investigators said, Polzin bought a home in Gilbert, Ariz., that he paid $400,000 in cash for. Bank records show that between April 2020 and June 2020, Polzin had two bank accounts that received several hundred thousand dollars in PPP loan disbursals.

The PPP loans are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability (CARES) Act passed in March 2020 was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to individuals and businesses suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of that economic relief was the PPP loans with provided up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses so that they could retain employees and pay for other expenses. In April 2020, Congress authorized another $300 billion in additional PPP funding.

The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and the FBI.