Monday, June 24, 2024

Florida Man Stole $2.6M Covid-19 Relief Funds

'To support his applications, he allegedly made up fake payroll and tax documents, as well as a fake commercial lease...'

(Headline USA) A Florida man allegedly filed fake payroll, tax documents, and a commercial lease to scam his way into getting $2.6 million in Covid-19 relief from the federal government, using it to buy two houses in Naples, Florida, stocks and investment securities, a 2019 Tiara 34LS boat, a 4.02 carat engagement ring, and ammunition.

Daniel Joseph Tisone, 35, is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing ammunition, the Department of Justice said, but FBI agents and agents of Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery found 800 rounds of assorted ammunition in his house.

Between March 2020 and April 2021, Tisone submitted fake forms to the Small Business Administration for Economic Injury Disaster, Main Street Lending Program, and Paycheck Protection Program loan applications, prosecutors said.

He lied on the applications in numerous instances, including about his criminal history, average monthly payroll, number of employees and his gross revenue, the DOJ alleges.

To support his applications, he allegedly made up fake payroll and tax documents, as well as a fake commercial lease. He submitted fake names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers for his alleged employees.

With this, he receive one Main Street Lending Program loan, four Economic Injury Disaster loans, and five Paycheck Protection Program loans, totaling $2.6 million deposited into his bank accounts, according to the DOJ.

He pleaded guilty in Fort Myers federal court to wire fraud, bank fraud, illegal monetary transaction and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and faces up to 60 years in federal prison at a hearing scheduled for Dec. 5.

As part of his plea agreement, Tisone must pay back the money and forfeit the homes, boat, and ring, the Associated Press reported.

This is just one instance of many where criminals took advantage of lax requirements and little-to-no checks as the federal government dispersed aid during the pandemic.

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