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Just In the Nick Of Time

Just In the Nick Of Time

Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Winston Churchill is known to have said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” The problem is, he said this way before the pandemic. That time being the era when there was some hesitancy towards committing fraud against the U.S. taxpayer. Today’s quote might be “Success is stumbling from failure to failure into frauding from the U.S. taxpayer with no loss of enthusiasm!” Tod Keilholz was the sole owner of TRK Construction, TRK Valpo, TL Builders, and Project Design. All of which were struggling to make a profit. Prior to the pandemic Keilholz obtained three business loans totaling more than $3.5 million. But as Keilholz’s businesses failed, these loans fell into default, and subcontractors sued him for late payments. Most would think it is time to reevaluate the business plans. But not Keilholz.
Conveniently, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced the COVID-19 pandemic and just two weeks later the United States Congress passed the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history. Just in the nick of time. As the world was shutting down, Keilholz launched himself into government fraud. A last-minute attempt to save his hemorrhaging businesses from bank-initiated foreclosure proceedings proved to be very profitable.

In each of those loan applications, he failed to disclose his ownership in the other three businesses. And along with making false and fraudulent claims in the supporting documentation, Keilholz’s also used a former employee’s name and Social Security number. Keilholz received a total of $12.4 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans for his four businesses. Not one dime went to payroll, lease or mortgage interest, or utilities as required by the PPP. Keilholz used the PPP loan proceed to purchase two properties in Jefferson City, Missouri, two properties in Indiana, and four vehicles.

On March 30, 2024, Keilholz pleaded guilty to fraud. Keilholz is required to forfeit all property related to the proceeds of the scheme, including vehicles and watches, and could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

Excellent job by the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force in this case.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “JC man pleads guilty to federal fraud charges” published by the News Tribune on March 30, 2024.

A Jefferson City man pleaded guilty in federal court this week to a $12.4 million loan fraud scheme. Tod Keilholz, 61, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of bank fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Keilholz, the sole owner of TRK Construction LLC, TRK Valpo LLC, TL Builders LLC and Project Design LLC, admitted to a scheme that reportedly stretched from early 2018 though early 2021. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, Keilholz obtained more than $3.5 million across three business loans prior to the scheme.

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