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Gilbert man gets 4-year prison sentence for obtaining millions in PPP funds

James Theodore Polzin has been ordered to pay over $2 million in restitution after he admitted to illegally obtaining benefits from the federal government.

GILBERT, Ariz. — A Gilbert man has been sentenced to 4 years in prison after admitting to fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in benefits intended for businesses struggling to survive during the pandemic.

James Polzin, 48, was sentenced last week in federal court after pleading guilty to fraudulently receiving funds through the government's Paycheck Protection Program.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Polzin applied to receive up to $3.5 million in PPP loans during the early months of the pandemic. 

Congress created the PPP relief program for small businesses after passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. 

But the program has been repeatedly milked by scammers who attempted to obtain loans by submitting false applications.

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

In Polzin's case, the defendant lied about how many people he employed. 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. 

Polzin then used a portion of the PPP relief for his own personal benefit, which included buying a Porsche, a home, and stashing money offshore.

As part of his sentencing, Polzin was ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution.

RELATED: DES: 270 indictments linked to pandemic-related fraud in Arizona

RELATED: 9 Valley residents illegally obtained $23M in pandemic relief, prosecutors say

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