BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Niagara Falls man was sentenced to a year of probation for wire fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, 57-year-old Leo Benevento fraudulently obtained two loans from the Small Business Association under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. He submitted false applications for loans related to his businesses, “WNY 24 7 Realty” and “Benevento Realty,” inflating annual revenue and underreporting annual expenses. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud in August.

Benevento received $117,300 for the loans. As part of the sentence, he has reimbursed that money to the Small Business Association. He had been facing up to 20 years in prison.

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.