Clovis man sentenced to prison for stealing $1.4mil in COVID-19 relief

A Clovis man who ran a farm labor business in Kings County stole $1.4 million from the Paycheck Protection Program.

A Clovis man was sentenced to one year in prison on Monday for stealing $1.4 million in COVID-19 relief money. 

U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert announced that Ruben Mireles, 48, was sentenced in federal court. 


Driving the news: Mireles, a resident of Clovis, stole federal pandemic relief funds through his farm labor contracting business in Kings County. 

  • Initially, Mireles called his business Vista Pacific Labor Solutions Inc. (VPLS), later changing it to Calzona Ag Management Inc. and did business as Vista Pacific Farm Management (CAM). 
  • In January 2021, following the name change from VPLS to CAM, Mireles applied for and received a $1.4 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for CAM from the Small Business Administration (SBA). 
  • Just three months later Mireles applied for and received another $1.4 million PPP loan for VPLS, which was based on false information.
  • Mireles falsely represented to the SBA that VPLS was a separate company from CAM and that he had not received any other PPP loans. 
  • He was also facing state fraud charges at the time and represented that he was not subject to any pending criminal charges. 
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