A New Jersey man accused of earning $71 million in fees through a Paycheck Protection Program fraud scheme during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in Manhattan federal court Thursday.

Rafael Martinez, 57, was arrested on a five-count indictment in March 2022. He was accused of making false representations about his company, MBE Capital Partners, so that the U.S. Small Business Administration would approve MBE as a non-bank lender for PPP loans.