FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Fresno man is facing charges in connection with defrauding both investigators and the U.S. government out of more than $4.2 million, according to the federal Department of Justice.

Court records state that Newcomb owned and operated “Strategic Innovations” that designed devices to stop package theft, prevent weather damage to packages, and make it easier for emergency responders to find homes.

Prosecutors say he received national and local media attention which he then used to secure millions of dollars from investors. He promised those investors significant returns in as little as three months – but instead used the investors’ funds to pay for personal expenses such as gambling, luxury vehicles, and a mansion.

Federal prosecutors add that Newcomb also received a fraudulent COVID-19 loan for over $70,000 from the Small Business Administration, and fraudulent loans for over $190,000 from private lenders.

Prosecutors say Royce Newcomb from Fresno was arrested on Monday. He is facing five counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering for running Ponzi, COVID-19 benefits, and other fraud schemes through “Strategic Innovations.”

If convicted, Newcomb faces maximum statutory penalties of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the wire fraud counts, and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the money laundering count.