Helena man convicted of using over $1 million in COVID-19 relief loans for personal gain | ABC Fox Montana Helen

June 9, 2022

Montana Loans

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The Department of Justice reports that Trevor Gee Lanius-McLeod was sentenced after he admitted to using the more than $1 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans he received for personal gain. .

Lanius-McLeod allegedly misrepresented the PPP loan application and otherwise did not qualify.

The government claimed that Lanius-McLeod agreed to use the funds for business-related expenses and that the proceeds were in fact spent on various personal expenses, including the mortgage on his personal residence.

“Today’s sentence is a direct reflection of the seriousness of Mr. Lanius-McLeod’s crimes,” said Andy Tsui, special agent in charge of the IRS local office of criminal investigations in Denver. “Not only is Lanius-McLeod guilty of crimes against the federal government, but he also victimized individuals and businesses that the Paycheck Protection Program was meant to protect. These actions will not be tolerated, and the judge’s decision sends a clear message to those who attempt to defraud CARES Act programs that these crimes will not go unpunished.

Trevor Gee Lanius-McLeod was sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of probation.

He was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,000,043.00, of which $125,000 will be paid jointly with co-defendant Kasey Wilson who was sentenced in March 2022.

Previous cover, January 5:

HELEN, Mont. – A Helena man pleaded guilty after making false statements to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans which he used for his personal gain.

Trevor Gene Lanius-McLeod pleaded guilty to bank fraud and engaging in monetary transactions in property from specified illegal activities.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement that in court documents the government claimed that in April 2021 Lanius-McLeod applied for PPP loans through the Valley Bank of Helena and lied about the applications and the documents that accompanied them.

Lanius-McLeod allegedly received $1,043,000 in fraudulent funds on the four loans.

Additionally, Lanius-McLeod applied for and obtained a $340,000 PPP loan on behalf of Renovated Montana Properties LLP, an entity he controlled.

Lanius-McLeod falsely said the company paid payroll taxes and had 25 employees, the DOJ reports.

Payroll taxes were never paid by the company and it had no employees other than Lanius-McLeod, however, it occasionally employed independent contractors.

In a promissory note, Lanius-McLeod agreed to use the loan for payroll costs and other business-related expenses, and none of the loans were used for those purposes, the statement said.

Instead, the loan was used for personal expenses, including paying the mortgage on Lanius-McLeod’s personal residence.

The DOJ says that but for several misrepresentations, Lanius-McLeod would not have qualified for this loan.

A plea agreement was filed in the case where the parties agreed that if the court accepts the plea agreement at sentencing, the government will seek the dismissal of nine other counts.

Lanius-McLeod faces a maximum of 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release for the crime of bank fraud.