Man sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs
A Nevada man on Monday was sentenced to 46 months in prison for running financial schemes involving false political action committees and COVID-19 relief, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a statement.
James Kyle Bell of Las Vegas had been accused of registering two fake PACs with the Federal Election Commission, one which targeted supporters of former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a ‘f—ing idiot’ over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE (“Keep America Great Committee”) and another that claimed to be fundraising for President BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa’s Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package MORE (“Best Days Lie Ahead Committee”).
Between January and October of 2020, Bell’s PACs solicited around 40,000 people and raised at least $346,000. Bell’s PACs falsely promised to provide a five times match for each donation, according to the Justice Department.
During the same timeframe, Bell was also conducting a financial pandemic relief scheme, from which he generated more than $1.1 million.
Bell applied for more than $1.6 million via four separate loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) using fictitious companies. One of the claims Bell made was that he had a company that employed 83 people at his private residence. Bell was granted a PPP loan of $485,000 to financially assist the company, which in reality had no employees and no payroll.
Authorities said Bell diverted the funds he received to a bank account for his own personal benefit, which violates campaign finance laws.
As part of his sentencing, Bell was ordered to forfeit or pay back nearly $1.4 million in cash and assets.
“Lying to gain access to SBA’s pandemic response programs is not without consequence,” said Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite of the SBA’s Office of Inspector General, Eastern Region.
Bell pleaded guilty in May 2021 to one count of wire fraud.