St. Paul man sentenced for COVID fraud scheme

A St. Paul man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for a COVID-19 fraud scheme.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 33-year-old Kyle William Brenizer owned and managed True-Cut Construction in Brooklyn Park. On May 1, 2020, he submitted a false and misleading Paycheck Protection Program application for True-Cut, seeking $841,000. That application was denied but he submitted another application on May 12, 2020, under another person’s name, saying that person owned 90% of True-Cut, and the second application was approved.

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Prosecutors noted that Brenizer falsely stated payroll numbers, said he wasn’t facing any criminal charges when he was actually charged with check forgery, identity theft, and theft, and didn’t have a contractor license for True-Cut because it had expired in 2019 after he was ordered to cease and desist from doing business by the state.

However, when Brenizer got his loan, he moved $650,000 to a bank account not related to True-Cut and spent $29,000 on a motorcycle, among other wrongful expenditures, the attorney’s office says.

He was sentenced Thursday to more than six years (81 months) in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.

Authorities say anyone with information about COVID-19 fraud can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.