The owners of Kee Firearms and Training in New Lenox were arrested in their home following a dynamic SWAT raid by federal authorities yesterday. Absent aggravating factors, it seems the federal law enforcement folks went a whole lot of overboard tossing flashbangs into Jeff Regnier’s home after battering down the front door. Were they afraid he was going to flush financial records down the toilet if they didn’t bust down the door and wreck his world?
Yep, that’s right: According to FoxNews, neighbors reported hearing flashbangs and a battering ram as heavily armed federal agents raided the 5,000 square foot mansion of Jeff Regnier and Greta Keranen.
What ever happened to knocking on the door? Or maybe catching him on the way to work or her on the way to the horse farm?
They are charged with defrauding the federal government of hundreds of thousands of dollars by lying to receive pandemic relief loans, and by fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits, mail fraud and other charges in a 24-count indictment.
Regnier ran for the Republican nomination in Illinois 1st Congressional District in the 2022 primaries.
Here’s a video of him introducing himself.
And Regnier is/was co-habitating with Greta Keranen. Someone named Greta Keranen (also living in Manhattan, IL) has a couple of business ventures listed on her Facebook page.
And Greta’s Equestrian Emporium.
The whole horse thing is expensive and then some. Horses are as expensive as they are majestic.
The irony as look what was offered later this month at Kee Firearms & Training… (At least the headline.)
On our radar…
Kee Firearms and Training earned a place on our radar back in 2021. Famous among many for their “free” concealed carry classes, we heard from multiple sources that those “free” classes may not have met the requirements set out by state law.
Look, we understand that in the perfect world there should not be a training requirement. The Second Amendment says what it means and means what it says. 25 states (soon to be 26) have Constitutional Carry without a lick of training and by and large they do just fine.
But Illinois isn’t a perfect place and our politicians surely aren’t perfect. Heck, many of them aren’t even sober.
We have a flawed system currently and if it’s abused, there’s little doubt the anti-gun super-majorities in the General Assembly would happily revisit our Concealed Carry law to tweak on the training requirements.
Rep. Bob Morgan would probably be delighted to make the training requirement even more burdensome and difficult. Imagine the Illinois General Assembly closing the “corner cutting instructor loophole” and replacing it with something done by the ISP, maybe once a month in three locations across the state.
Specifically, what may have been wrong with the Kee coursework? At least some participants suggested in “reviews” that the “gun handling” portion of the class was limited to about five minutes or less… or long enough to fire 30 rounds.
So the students spent 3 minutes gun handling? Classes are supposed to spend about 4 hours (“recommended”) per ISP rules in weapons handling.Does this guy look familiar? (See top of page).
Gun handling time is but the tip of the iceberg. We know the Illinois State Police investigated Kee Firearms & Training over the training classes. Those investigations may still be continuing and we won’t reveal additional information which might jeopardize the ISP’s work.
Here’s the local Fox32 story:
WILL COUNTY – A federal raid in the southwest suburbs put two people behind bars Monday. They are facing felony charges of theft and loan fraud tied to COVID relief money.
The defendants live in Manhattan, Illinois, but one of the businesses that federal authorities say they used to obtain thousands of dollars in loans is Kee Firearms and Training in New Lenox.
As federal agents descended on the gun store early Monday morning, the business posted on Facebook, “WE ARE CLOSED TODAY!”
Meanwhile, just before 7 a.m., SWAT officers swarmed the home of Jeffrey Regnier and Greta Keranen – the store’s owners.
Neighbors described hearing flashbangs and the sound of a battering ram when authorities entered the roughly 5,000-square-foot home.
Combined, Regnier and Keranen are facing 24 felony counts.
Charges include theft, loan fraud, money laundering, and state benefits fraud from April 1, 2020, through January 2021.
Court documents allege that during the pandemic, Regnier and Keranen lied about their income, claimed they were unable to work, and according to the complaint, used Kee Firearms and Training, LLC, and another business, Kee Construction, LLC, to file false applications and obtain thousands of dollars in pandemic relief loans.
The complaint alleges that on April 1, 2020, Regnier and Keranen applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the Small Business Administration and later received a loan for $150,000. However, in their application, “knowingly employed deception, in that she represented that the defendant Greta Keranen’s business, Kee Constrcution, LLC, had gross revenues of $9,500,000, and cost of goods sold of $8,500,000, for the twelve months prior to 01/31/2020, which defendant Greta Keranen knew to be false.”
Another theft charge detailed in the complaint states that Regnier submitted a Work Availability Questionnaire through the Illinois Department of Employment Security on Aug. 6, 2020, in which he stated “he was unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which the defendant knew to be false, because he was at the same time operating another business, Kee Firearms and Training, LLC.” Regnier received unemployment benefits in the amount of $28,908 following that application.
The amounts Regnier and Keranen allegedly received in unemployment benefits, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans totaled to at least $400,000.
Regnier previously ran for election, looking to fill Illinois’ 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House, but lost the race last June.