St. Paul man charged with fraudulently getting over $840K in COVID-relief loans, money laundering

A St. Paul man has been federally indicted on charges of fraudulently obtaining over $840,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses affected by COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 32-year-old Kyle William Brenizer is charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.

The indictment alleges Brenizer owned and managed True-Cut Construction, located in Brooklyn Park. In August 2018, Brenizer and True-Cut were ordered by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to cease and desist from doing business and in December 2019, the company’s contractor license expired and wasn’t renewed.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that on May 1, Brenizer submitted a false and misleading PPP application under True-Cut seeking $841,000 but the application was denied. Brenizer submitted the application again on May 12 but submitted it under the name of someone else, whom he falsely claimed was the 90% owner of True-Cut. He also falsely stated the company’s average monthly payroll was $336,400 for 30 employees.

It continues, stating Brenizer falsely said he wasn’t subject to any pending criminal charges, even though he was named in multiple felony charges for forgery, identity theft and theft by swindle, the attorney’s office said. On May 13, his second application was approved for $841,000.

Brenizer then allegedly transferred $650,000 to a bank account unrelated to True-Cut and paid $29,000 to buy a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He also spent more than $1,000 on golf expenses and other personal retail and entertainment expenditures.

Brenizer made his initial court appearance on Friday and will remain in custody pending an arraignment hearing set for Aug. 26.

The attorney’s office encourages anyone with information about attempted fraud involving COVID-19 to report it by calling 866-720-5721 or filling out the online form here.