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Milwaukee man pleads guilty to illegally obtaining PPP loans

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee man accused of illegally obtaining more than $600,000 in federal loans meant for COVID-19 relief pleaded guilty Monday in federal court.

Stephen Smith, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14.

Authorities say Smith fraudulently sought Paycheck Protection Program loans through applications to an insured financial institution on behalf of three different companies.

The loan applications contained numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ respective payroll expenses, which led the financial institution to fund the loans, court documents show.

Smith directed his co-conspirators to send him portions of the PPP funds within days of receiving them and used the proceeds for personal expenses, according to the documents.

Smith’s attorney, Craig Powell, did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

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