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Alleged fake tax preparer in Mesa charged with COVID-19 fraud

James Polzin faces three counts of fraud related to major disaster or emergency benefits and three counts of wire fraud.

MESA, Ariz — An alleged con artist from Mesa is accused of collecting more than $1 million in COVID-19 relief funds that he didn’t qualify for. Federal officials hope his case is a warning to other business owners out there trying to game the system.

James Polzin, 47, recently purchased a Mesa home with $400,000 in cash. Authorities say he filed several PPP claims and collected more than a million dollars in PPP loans, including one loan worth $740,000. 

State records show James Polzin had three full-time employees at his business, yet Polzin claimed on his federal PPP application forms he had more than a dozen employees at the business. He’s also accused of making bogus claims of revenue.

Polzin faces three counts of fraud related to major disaster or emergency benefits and three counts of wire fraud.

According to court records and a story first reported by CNN, Polzin did not have his CPA license. Customers also accuse him of collecting their money but not actually completing the tax preparation work.

According to Homeland Security, Polzin remains behind bars. His arrest is one of a handful of cases in recent months nationwide related to PPP loan fraud.

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