Gilbert man sentenced to prison for PPP fraud


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Date: April 8, 2022


Phoenix, AZ — James Theodore Polzin of Gilbert, Arizona, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi to 48 months in prison and ordered to pay over $2.2 million in restitution. Polzin pleaded guilty in October 2021 to fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES") is a federal law designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses, including PPP loans.

Polzin submitted materially false loan applications that claimed non-existent employees and revenues for business entities he owned and operated. From April 2020 to August 2020, Polzin applied for loans totaling over $3.5 million. Polzin then used a portion of the proceeds for his own personal benefit, which included purchasing a Porsche, a home, and stashing money offshore.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin M. Rapp, District of Arizona, Phoenix, handled the prosecution.