Preview: Fraud, the new cash crop

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – After hearing about a Sioux Falls business that received a $ 150,000 bill for a disaster loan from the Small Business Administration, which it never took out, KELOLAND Investigates decided to delve into the prevalence of the problem. in South Dakota.
What we found was a series of fake farms right in the middle of the cities that collected government money at the expense of the identities of South Dakotans.

You may remember we told you the story of how the Sioux Falls business, Key Media Solutions, and its owner, Korena Keys, had their identities stolen so that scammers got away with $ 150,000.

“They were able to confirm that it was my name and Social Security number from the application. But they were also able to confirm that it was not my email address or my phone number. At first, it’s like, did this really happen?

Korena Keys, Key Media Solutions

A small business administration Inspector General’s Report shows that the SBA approved $ 14.3 billion for accounts that differed from the original bank accounts listed on loan applications. Nearly $ 63 billion was approved for applicants using the same IP addresses, email addresses, bank accounts, or businesses listed at the same addresses.

Following our history with Keys, KELOLAND Investigates was able to extract data from all borrowers for the emergency disaster loan program in South Dakota. The SBA was required to release the information in December. We reviewed 7,598 business entries, including farms in South Dakota, that received $ 463.5 million. Due to the high volume, we narrowed our search to farms and began to discover many fakes.

Angela Kennecke: So is this Beth MB Potato Farm?
Beth Boyens: Not.
Angela Kennecke: Isn’t there a potato farm here?
Boyens: There is no potato farm here.

“I don’t have a tomato farm, in fact, I don’t have a farm,” said Shane Sarver of Spearfish.

“I’m not a farmer, no,” said Brendan Dix of Sioux Falls.

In “Fraud, The New Commercial Crop,” we showed you how many bogus farms and scams we found just by searching the SBA disaster loan data for South Dakota. Plus, how much all that fraud adds up to and who was the target of our full investigation on Thursday night at 10.

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