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Pewaukee man pleads guilty to fraudulently getting PPP loans

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PPP Loans(Source: WSFA)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:25 PM CST
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — A suburban Milwaukee man accused of illegally obtaining more than $1 million in federal loans meant for COVID-19 relief has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Thomas E. Smith, 46, of Pewaukee, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of bank fraud.

Authorities say the 46-year-old Smith fraudulently sought more than $1.2 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans through applications to an insured financial institution on behalf of eight different companies. The PPP allows eligible small businesses and other organizations to receive loans to help cover payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

Court documents show that the loan applications contained numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ respective payroll expenses, which led the financial institution to fund the loans.

Smith then directed his co-conspirators to send him portions of the PPP funds within days of receiving them.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2.

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