The Justice Department has accused a Nevada man of scamming supporters of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden out of hundreds of thousands of dollars prior to the 2020 election.
Federal prosecutors said Kyle Bell used a fake political action committee, or PAC, known as the Keep America Great Committee to appeal to unsuspecting supporters of Trump’s re-election bid.
Bell, according to a DOJ criminal complaint, also scammed supporters of then-candidate Biden out of cash, all of which he is accused of keeping. That PAC was called the “Best Days Lie Ahead Committee.”
The cash collected in Trump’s name, nearly $250,000, allegedly went straight to Bell.
“On or about January 7, 2020, BELL organized a Super PAC called the Keep America Great Committee (‘KAGC’) and registered the PAC with the FEC. KAGC purported to support the re-election of President Donald Trump,” a federal complaint stated. “BELL used the name of his wife without authorization on those registration documents.”
Bell also created a website for his PAC by copying content used on legitimate Trump-supporting entities’ websites, authorities said. According to The Daily Beast, his site’s donation page looked almost identical to that of the Trump campaign.
“KAGC received $246,751.45 in donations made online through its website and its marketing emails. KAGC received donations from over 1,000 donors,” the complaint, which accused Bell of wire fraud, added.
Both PACs collected money from unwitting donors beginning in January 2020 and collected cash up until the month before the November election, the court filing said.
According to the DOJ, Bell swindled supporters of both candidates and kept the money for himself.
“During the 2020 election cycle, KAGC and BDLAC which were controlled by BELL received approximately $340,000 in donations — not including the funds that BELL diverted from a fraudulent PPP loan to KAGC-LLCs accounts,” the DOJ said.
“During that same period, BELL’s PACs made no contributions to candidates, political parties, or other committees. And neither KAGC nor BELL ever provided ‘5X’ matching of contributions as promised by KAGC.”
According to the legal filing, Bell is also accused of applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans made available via the CARES Act for various companies in his or his wife’s name.
“BELL also applied for PPP loans on behalf of five different Nevada companies that were organized in the names of BELL and his wife. All of these loan applications included false statements and misrepresentations about the companies’ operations,” the government alleged.
Regarding the PPP loans, Bell hauled in more than $1 million combined in response to loan applications for four of those companies.
“BELL claimed that three of the companies each had an annual payroll over $2 million with more than 200 employees, when in fact those companies combined had at most six employees with far less in payroll expenses,” the DOJ said.
A company called Bella Threads LLC received $49,879 in loans, while another company, Red Five LLC, got $112,187 in PPP funds.
Two other companies, Echo Three LLC and Myson Rules LLC, accepted $485,016 and $492,754, respectively.
All the loans were accepted between April 30 and May 15 of 2020.