Arizona man in $3.5M pandemic loan fraud case gets 4 years

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona man faces four years in prison after pleading guilty to falsely claiming non-existent employees and business revenues when applying for $3.5 million in federal pandemic relief loans in 2020. Officials said he used some of the money to buy a Porsche and a home.

The sentence imposed last Thursday for James Theodore Polzin, 48, of the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert included an order for him to pay over $2.2 million in restitution.

According to federal officials, Polzin used a portion of the proceeds of the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster loans for his own personal benefit, including the car and home purchases, and for “stashing money offshore.”

“This defendant defrauded a program intended to assist hardworking Americans who have been unfairly impacted as a result of this unprecedented and challenging health crisis,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Polzin pleaded guilty last fall to wire fraud and transactional money laundering.

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