MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 58-year-old Lakeville man was charged via summons for one count of theft of unemployment insurance benefits on Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint, on July 7, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension received a report from a bank that Steven Schroeder was receiving funds from a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan and simultaneously receiving Minnesota unemployment benefits.READ MORE: For Third Night After Daunte Wright's Killing, Protesters Rally Outside Brooklyn Park Police Department
Schroeder is listed as president, 100% owner, and only employee of an LLC in Lakeville, at his residence. He was working as an independent contractor for a large clothing company. He applied for a PPP loan in April of 2020, requesting a payroll loan of $8,333 a month for the program’s two and a half months, a total sum of $20,833. The loan, which he requested because of lost income due to the pandemic, was approved, and he received the full amount on May 8.
He also applied for state unemployment benefits starting on March 30, and applied again on April 15, requesting unemployment insurance from April 1 to Aug. 31. Each week of the application asks if the person will be receiving income from any source not already reported to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Every week he answered “no.”READ MORE: Derek Chauvin Trial, April 13: Defense's Expert Witness Says Use Of Force Against George Floyd 'Justified'
Between May 10 and July 19, Schroeder said he worked 130 hours and earned $1,329. During those weeks, he received roughly $5,040 in net UI benefits from DEED.
However the unemployment insurance benefits from DEED say that an independent contractor cannot collect both PPP funds and UI at the same time; Schroeder did not qualify for the benefits between May 10 and July 19.
Investigators looked into his bank records, which showed that he received payment from the clothing manufacturer once a month between May and July, a sum which came out to over $16,000. He had not reported this income to DEED.MORE NEWS: No Cases Of ‘Exceedingly Rare’ Blood Clots From Johnson & Johnson Vaccine In MN, But Providers Asked To Pause Doses
When investigators spoke to Schroeder on Sept. 30, he acknowledged that he worked as an independent contractor for the clothing manufacturer, and admitted he applied for the PPP loan to supplement his payroll, as his wages were down 50%. He also admitted to receiving unemployment benefits from DEED.