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Tuesday, 28 July 2020 18:34

Florida Man Who Used COVID Relief Funds to Purchase Lamborghini Charged in Federal Court

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law enacted March 29. It is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. In April, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding.

 

The PPP allows qualifying small businesses and other organizations to receive loans with a maturity of two years and an interest rate of 1%. Businesses must use PPP loan proceeds for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities.  

 

The PPP allows the interest and principal to be forgiven if businesses spend the proceeds on these expenses within a set time period and use at least a certain percentage of the loan towards payroll expenses.

 

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

 

This case was investigated by the FDIC-OIG, USPIS, IRS-CI, the SBA-OIG, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection-OIG. 

 

Trial Attorney Emily Scruggs of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Berger of the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.

 

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF web complaint form.

 

Source: U.S. Department of Justice


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