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Jefferson City businessman pleads guilty to stealing federal stimulus money

Tod Keilholz
Cole County Jail
Tod Keilholz


A Jefferson City businessman pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding the government of $12.4 million through COVID-19 stimulus loans.

Tod R. Keilholz, 61, pleaded guilty in federal court in Jefferson City to a single count each of bank fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Keilholz admitted to bank fraud in connection with four businesses -- TRK Construction, LLC; TRK Valpo, LLC; TL Builders, LLC; and Project Design, LLC -- between Jan. 1, 2018 and Jan. 7, 2021, the release says.

Authorities say Keilholz took out three business loans from Hawthorn Bank for about $3.5 million between Aug. 31, 2017, and Sept. 21, 2018. When he defaulted on those loans who used COVID-19 stimulus funds to pay them off along with other debts, the government says.

Keilholz received more than $12.4 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans meant to help businesses pay their employees, according to the release. He lied in his application for those loans, including claiming payroll for employees that didn't exist or no longer worked for him, the release says.

The loans can be used for payroll, mortgage payments and other business-related expenses and are forgivable.

The aggravated identity theft count is related to Keilholz using a former employee's name and social security number on reports, the release says.

Keilholz will have to forfeit to the federal government about $12.4 million, four vehicles, real estate and other property. He is subject to up to 40 years in prison.

Sentencing will be scheduled after a pre-sentencing investigation.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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