AUGUSTA (WJBF) – A Richmond County man has admitted conducting a scheme to submit fraudulent applications for COVID-19 small business relief funding that netted more than $4 million in payments.

Kamario Thomas, 42, of Augusta, is charged with Conspiracy. The guilty plea to the felony charge subjects Thomas to up to five years in federal prison followed by up to three years of supervised release, along with substantial financial penalties and restitution to the U.S. government.

In his plea agreement, Thomas admits that he completed false and fraudulent EIDL applications for himself, and that he received hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks in return for completing and submitting fraudulent PPP and EIDL applications on behalf of his co-conspirators. To create those applications, Thomas fabricated IRS forms and tax records.

In total, the scheme caused the disbursement of more than $4 million in fraudulent CARES Act loans and grants.