Eden Prairie family assets arrested as government suspects $ 504,000 of PPP loan fraud


Harold B. Kading, his wife Zoraida Franco, and their adult son Ben Kading were named in a civil forfeiture lawsuit filed last week in the US District Court in Minnesota. The government has already seized the SUV and about $ 223,000 from 10 bank accounts that prosecutors say are linked to electronic fraud.

A search of the federal court’s archives on Thursday found no related criminal charges.

According to the civil document, the three have applied for at least seven PPP loans starting in April 2020, shortly after the coronavirus business assistance program became law.

Ben Kaeding received the first $ 47,000 after claiming he owned Harbor Holdings Corp., which allegedly had four employees. But the IRS and government filings showed that the company had no tax or payroll records for any employee in the past year, and the quarterly tax return he included in his application was never filed with the IRS.

Franco applied for and later received $ 215,000 on behalf of Harbor Corp. on May 13, again using fake tax filings, the application said.

And on May 21, Franco applied for a $ 242,000 loan on behalf of AutoPay, Inc., submitting tax and banking documents that prosecutors believed were fraudulent.

These three loans were approved by Royal Credit Union, Sunrise Bank and BlueVine Capital, respectively.

The documentation states that Benjamin Kaeding and Franco each submitted at least two additional PPP loans, which were either denied or initially funded but later withdrawn because the bank suspected fraud.

In a short phone call on Thursday, Franco denied stealing money and declined to answer questions about obtaining PPP loans. Ben Cading could not be contacted.

Tax refund

In March 2020, shortly before his son filed his first PPP loan application, Harold Kaeding sued the IRS seeking a refund of $ 8,465 for his 2013 tax overpayment.

According to his complaint, Kaeding did not file a return for 2013 until 2017. He filed a lawsuit because the IRS denied him a refund because the three-year statute of limitations had expired.

Kaeding voluntarily dismissed the suit in July. Court records do not indicate whether he ever received a refund.

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