Minnesota man charged for fraudulently applying for $2.1 million in COVID-19 relief funds

Photo By: Department of Justice
Photo By: Department of Justice

(Minneapolis, MN) -- An Eden Prairie man has been charged for fraudulently applying for $2.1 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

Court documents say 72 year-old Harold Bennie Kaeding applied for at least $2,182,625 in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program between April and December 2020.

Court documents say Kaeding used names of family members to submit loan applications under the name of several Minnesota entities. Court documents say he failed to file tax returns or to report payment of wages to employees from 2019 - 2020. 

The court documents continue, alleging Kaeding submitted both false and fraudulent applications to several lenders. Court documents say the applications included fabricated supporting records, untrue statements regarding employee numbers and payroll expenses, and other various charges. 

The documents allege Kaeding received $658,490 in fraud proceeds, which he moved to bank accounts under his control. Court documents say Kaeding spent much of the money on personal expenses including home mortgage payments and wire transfers to family and friends. 

Court documents also allege that Kaeding fled to Columbia "in an apparent attempt to evade prosecution." He was deported from Colombia on November 12, 2021 and arrested on November 14, 2021 in Miami, Florida. 

Kaeding is charged with one count of money laundering and one count of wire fraud.