Middlefield man pleads guilty to fraud charges | #phishing | #scams

A judge’s gavel for the files.

Bjoern Wylezich / TNS

A Middlefield resident on Monday pleaded guilty to federal tax and wire fraud charges, after authorities allege he submitted false documents for state wage subsidy programs and misreported business expenses on his taxes.

David Kania, 62, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return, the U.S. attorney’s office said Monday. He is free on $100,000 bond prior to his sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charge and up to three years in prison on the tax return charge, the office said.

Investigators claim that Kania, who owned and operated three small businesses in the “dietary supplement and beverage industry,” applied for state subsidies between 2013 and 2018, a release said. The subsidies were intended for employers of “unemployed jobseekers, including veterans,” and also helped in providing training for employees.

Authorities claim Kania submitted false documents to the state Department of Labor and Worforce Investment Board that showed he hired certain workers who worked for his companies for a certain amount of time. Investigators alleged he also sent false invoices to the Manufacturing Innovation Fund Program for training that never occurred.

The U.S. attorney’s office said the scheme amounted to more than $941,000 in losses through the wage subsidy program and $115,000 through the training program.

Investigators also claim Kania underreported his income between 2014 and 2018 on his federal tax returns by using business funds to pay for personal expenses. The underreported amount amounted to more than $299,000, the office said.

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