SAN ANTONIO – A federal grand jury indicted a San Antonio man who allegedly devised a scheme to secure millions in funds from COVID-era programs aimed at providing relief to small business owners.
James Michael Bergeron, 42, is charged with 11 counts related to wire fraud and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas said in a news release.
According to court documents, Bergeron received the money through the Paycheck Protection Program and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund by misrepresenting the number of workers he employed and the average monthly payroll paid out by various entities he controlled. He also misrepresented the annual revenue for one of the entities, the news release said.
Bergeron spent the money on real estate, vehicles and retail investment products, court documents said.
The defendant made his initial court appearance Monday before a U.S. Magistrate.
If convicted, Bergeron faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.