SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — More con-artists who took advantage of SBA programs to save businesses in the pandemic are being caught. Our KELOLAND News Investigation, “Fake Farms: The New Cash Crop,” uncovered more than $1 million in fraud in South Dakota SBA Emergency Injury Disaster Loans; mostly under the guise of fake farms.
The feds have busted several fraud rings and now in the latest arrest, a Chicago area tax preparer is accused of wire fraud.
Federal investigators say the owner of Flash Tax Service submitted both fake SBA EIDL and Paycheck Protection Program applications on behalf of hundreds of his customer and received a kickback for helping them fraudulently obtain the money.
South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds says there are resources built into the COVID-19 funding relief packages for going after criminals who stole from taxpayers
“We’re going to track them down as best we can; find them wherever we can and address the issue. Now some of them are going to go jail, some of them have probably spent the money already and we’ll never get it back. But we’ve got to send a message: if you’re going to steal from federal tax payer, then you’re going to pay the consequences.”SD Senator Mike Rounds
A Massachusetts man who is facing unemployment fraud charges using multiple names, is also also accused of using using stolen identities to fraudulently apply for SBA EIDL loans and then depositing the money into prepaid debit card accounts.
A Sioux Falls man has been indicted for allegedly defrauding the SBA Paycheck Protection Program.
A federal grand jury indicted 50-year-old James Bunker, who operates four different businesses in the state, for bank fraud. He has plead not guilty.
The government says Bunker submitted fake financial documents to banks and lied on loan forgiveness application to the SBA. Bunkers plead not guilty. He faces up to 30 years in prison in convicted and a $1 million dollar fine.