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Colorado man indicted for PPP fraud

Richard Nieto is accused of receiving more than $900,000 in fraudulent loans.
Credit: Natalia Merzlyakova - stock.adobe.com

DENVER — A man who formerly lived in Morrison has been indicted for receiving more than $900,000 in alleged fraudulent loans.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Colorado said Richard Rejan Nieto, 37, received $913,551.88 in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Nieto owned two businesses -- Denver Pro Painting and Contracting, and DenPro --when he applied for PPP loans in April and May 2020.

Nieto falsely stated on his applications that he did not own any other businesses, the indictment alleges. He also inflated his payroll costs, made false statement and certifications and submitted fake tax returns, the indictment says.

He then applied for loan forgiveness for the full amount of the PPP loans, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Nieto received forgiveness of $176,956 through false representations and by submitting fake payroll checks, the indictment says.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Nieto then allegedly laundered money through large money transfers between bank and investment accounts, which included a $40,000 transfer to a cryptocurrency account in January 2021.

Nieto has been indicted on:

  • three counts of wire fraud
  • five counts of money laundering

The U.S. Attorney's Office said the government had previously executed seizures of the fraudulently received money from Nieto's investment account and from two crypto trading accounts.

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