Dec 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scam PAC operator gets nearly 4-year prison sentence

  A Trump sign with Vice President Mike Pences name removed sits next to the Colorado State Capitol as Trump supporters protest the election on January 6, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.

A Trump sign with Vice President Mike Pence's name removed sits next to the Colorado State Capitol as Trump supporters protest the election on Jan. 6 in Denver. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

A Las Vegas man behind scam Trump and Biden PACs and a fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program scheme was sentenced to 46 months in prison Monday.

The big picture: James Kyle Bell, 44, must also forfeit or pay back nearly $1.4 million in cash and assets related to the schemes after pleading guilty in May to one count of wire fraud, according to a Department of Justice statement on the sentencing.

  • Bell used online platforms and e-mail solicitations to generate "at least $346,000" from the two PACs, the DOJ said.
  • He "created multiple shell companies" to defraud the PPP set up by Congress to help Americans who suffered economic losses during the pandemic — winning approval "for more than $1.1 million in four separate loans," the DOJ notes. Bell applied for a fifth loan for $521,625 but withdrew the application.

What they're saying: "Bell defrauded over 2,000 victims, who were all deceived into thinking they were making a donation to the presidential candidate of their choice, but in reality, that money was going to Bell’s personal accounts," Wayne Jacobs, special agent in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division said in a statement.

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