Missouri man pleads guilty to pandemic business loan fraud


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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering after federal prosecutors say he fraudulently obtained more than $500,000 in federal loans meant to help businesses struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri says in a news release that 44-year-old Brian Ruth, of Deepwater, entered the pleas Wednesday in the federal courthouse in Springfield.

Prosecutors say Ruth received nearly $523,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans for three separate businesses. Officials say the businesses were not operational and that Ruth used the money to buy vehicles for himself.

Ruth faces up to 40 years in prison when he’s sentenced at a later date.

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