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Helena man admits to bank fraud, received $1 million in COVID-19 relief loans

Helena man admits to bank fraud, received $1 million in COVID-19 relief loans
Written by Publishing Team

Helena – A Helena man has pleaded guilty to a charge of bank fraud involving $1 million in COVID-19 relief loans.

Trevor Jane Lanius MacLeod, 48, pleaded guilty to bank fraud Wednesday in federal court and engaging in cash transactions on property derived from specific illegal activity. Lanius-McLeod faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release for the offense of bank fraud.

According to court documents, in April 2021, Lanius-McLeod applied for four PPP loans through Valley Bank of Helena and lied about the applications and accompanying documents. As a result, Lanius-McLeod received $1,043,000 in funds from the four loans.

The PPP program has provided emergency assistance to small businesses to retain jobs and some other expenses.

Lanius-McLeod applied for and received a $340,000 PPP loan on behalf of Renovated Montana Properties LLP, an entity it controls. Prosecutors say Lanius-McLeod did not qualify for this loan because his company did not pay payroll taxes and Lanius-McLeod was the only employee, even though the company employed subcontractors.

Lanius-McLeod is accused of using the loan for personal expenses, including paying off a mortgage on his personal residence.

Co-defendant Casey Jones Wilson of Laurel has pleaded guilty to bank fraud and awaits sentencing.

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