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Fake PACs, COVID loans net Nevada man $1.4 million, feds say. Now he’s prison-bound

·1 min read

A Las Vegas man accused of stealing $1.4 million through election- and pandemic-related scams will serve nearly 4 years in prison, federal officials say.

James Kyle Bell, 44, pleaded guilty in May to wire fraud in the case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a news release. He was sentenced Monday, Dec. 6.

Bell registered two sham political action committees with federal authorities, prosecutors said. The “Keep America Great Committee,” appeared to support Donald Trump, while the “Best Days Lie Ahead Committee” supposedly supported Joe Biden.

The fake PACs sent out 40,000 solicitations for donations to aid the presidential campaigns, promising 5x matches, the release said. More than 2,000 people donated to the PACs before the 2020 presidential election.

In reality, prosecutors said the $346,000 raised by both PACs went to Bell’s bank accounts, with no matching donations.

Bell also applied for multiple Paycheck Protection Program loans for COVID-19 relief for businesses that did not exist, the release said.

He raked in $1.1 million from four loans, and applied for another $521,000 but withdrew that application, prosecutors said. That money also went into his personal back accounts.

The government has seized $519,000 of the stolen money and Bell must repay the rest as a condition of his sentence, the release said.

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