ST. LOUIS, COUNTY — A business owner in St. Louis County admitted to being part of a plan to illegally get $231,100 in loans related to the pandemic. Joe C. Cohen Jr., 66, pled guilty to two felony counts of theft of government property.

Cohen said he gave someone his personal information, and that person lied on loan applications for two of Cohen’s businesses, overstating their income and number of employees. The loans were meant to help business owners who were having trouble paying their bills because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to his guilty plea, Cohen knew who was going to send in the loan applications and put the loan money, $110,000 for one loan and $121,100 for the other, into his checking account. He then gave some of the money to the man who applied for the loans.

Cohen was charged with a crime in October. He will be sentenced on April 14 and faces up to ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. He will also be required to pay back the money.