A Clovis man admitted in federal court on Monday to a fraud scheme in which he illegally obtained $1.4 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds.
Ruben Mireles, 48, faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 20, 2024.
According to court documents, Mireles owned a farm labor contracting business in Kings County. His business initially went by the name Vista Pacific Labor Solutions Inc. (VPLS) and then changed its name to Calzona Ag Management Inc., doing business as Vista Pacific Farm Management (CAM).
In a nutshell, the fraud centered on Mireles’s lies. He said the companies were separate entities and hadn’t previously received COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program funding.
In addition, prosecutors said, Mireles declared that he wasn’t facing any criminal charges when, in fact, he faced state fraud charges.
Based on the false representations, VPLS’s loan application was approved by federal authorities and $1.4 million was deposited into Mireles’s bank account.
U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced Mireles’s guilty plea in a news release.