PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A man from Gresham, Oregon pleaded guilty on Friday for stealing more than $77,000 in relief funds for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to federal prosecutors.

Forty-year-old Justin Allen Cunningham, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud after it was revealed that in 2021 he had taken advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was authorized to aid businesses affected by the pandemic, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office. The U.S. Small Business Administration guarantees loans requested through the PPP, and Cunningham allegedly submitted fraudulent loan applications on behalf of a fake business.

Cunningham dubbed his fake business “JC Shoe Juice” and promoted it as an online sneaker retailer, prosecutors said. A friend created false tax returns and submitted a PPP loan application for him, according to officials.

Cunningham is scheduled for sentencing in January and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He has agreed to pay $81,000 in restitution as part of the plea agreement, according to prosecutors.