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Milwaukee man pleads guilty to COVID-19 relief fraud

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee man pleaded guilty Monday to obtaining more than $600,000 in fraudulent COVID-19 relief funds.

According to court records, 42-year-old Stephen Smith acknowledged he submitted fraudulent applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans last year on behalf of three different companies that had folded.

He made false and misleading statements about the companies payroll expenses and directed a group of co-conspirators to send him portions of the loans within days of receiving them. He then used the money to cover personal expenses.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced July 14 and could get up to 30 years in prison.

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