BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man was arrested and charged with wire fraud in connection with receiving millions in COVID-19 funds, U.S. Attorneys said.
It is alleged that 49-year-old Brian A. Smith of Buffalo was the owner of B Smith and Companies, LLC and received two Payment Protection Program loans and one Economic Injury Disaster Loan during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is said that Smith provided false documentation to institutions administering the PPP program, putting false information on loan applications.
He is also accused of filing false tax returns misrepresenting his income to receive relief loans that he otherwise would not have qualified for. It is stated that Smith personally received $119,633 in loans, which were deposited into bank accounts he controlled and were used for personal expenditures such as adult entertainment clubs, hotels, restaurants, cash withdrawals and retail goods.
This is not the first time Smith has been in hot water. In October 2010, he was convicted of wire fraud in Missouri and spent 10 months in prison. In September 2012, he was again convicted of wire and bank fraud in New York and was sentenced to 63 months in prison and served an additional nine in 2019 after violating terms of his supervised release.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.