SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Minnesota man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to participating in a scheme to defraud the federal government out of $1.2 million in disaster relief funds by receiving fraudulent loans from banks in northwest Iowa and Minnesota.
Donald Franklin Trosin, age 56, from Champlin, Minnesota, formerly of Armstrong, Iowa, pleaded guilty to major fraud against the U.S. and money laundering conspiracy.
Prosecutors said Trosin admitted that he submitted more than 20 applications to the Small Business Administration, in his name and the name of another person, to receive Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds.
Those funds are part of the federal CARES Act enacted in March 2020 to help people who suffered financial losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The applications falsely claimed that Trosin had 120 employees on his payroll and over $5 million in payroll expenses when he did not actually operate a business.
After receiving the funds, Trosin wired proceeds to other people in other states.
He remains free on bond. Sentencing has not been scheduled.