A Florida man has been indicted for bank fraud after lying on loan applications that he will contribute to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. He reportedly spent the received funds from coronavirus small business loans on luxury goods, such as a Lamborghini, according to a criminal complaint.
Man charged with 3 felonies
According to federal prosecutors, 29-year-old David Tyler Hines applied for funds worth approximately $13.5 million as part of the coronavirus small business loans. The program was initiated in March to offer loans to small businesses in order for them to pay employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hines from Miami was indicted with making false statements to a financial institution, bank fraud, and engaging in unlawful transactions, stated the Justice Department.
Prosecutors stated that on behalf of different companies, Hines sought about $13.5 million in PPP loans. He was provided $3.9 million from the fund designated to aid ailing small businesses due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, reported CBS News.
The Florida man blew the funding assistance on dating sites, a brand new Lamborghini, and hotel getaways. He was arrested and charged with 3 felonies.
The 29-year-old reportedly gave a false statement regarding the number of employees under his leadership. He also lied about the amount needed to cover their salaries amid the coronavirus pandemic, indicated Herald Mail Media.
David Hines' corporate bank account was in the red by over $30,000 before May 13.
Merely one week following the reception of the coronavirus small business loans, he was strolling around Miami Beach in a new blue Lamborghini Huracán EVO. The model is worth over $318,000, reported Washington Post.
The Paycheck Protection Program worth $521 billion is designated to keep workers on payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hines did not merely file fraudulent PPP applications but also spent the funds on "luxury and personal items" including almost $5,000 at Saks Fifth Ave, an $8,530 purchase at Graff Diamonds, and over $11,000 at two Miami hotels.
Suspect cited 'ghost employees' in applications
According to the affidavit, Hines was approved for funding but his "purported employees either did not exist or earned a fraction of what Hines claimed in his PPP applications."
"Collectively, Hines falsely claimed his companies paid millions of dollars in payroll in the first quarter of 2020. State and bank records, however, show little to no payroll expense during this period."
His personal expenses included clothes, Miami beach resorts, jewelry, and dating websites, according to prosecutors.
On the applications, Hines alleged that he was either the manager or president of 4 Miami-based companies, for which he stated that he has 70 employees with monthly payroll expenses of $4 million, the complaint indicated.
"Instead of funding payroll, Hines spent the PPP money on personal expenses at dating websites, luxury jewelry, and clothing retailers, and Miami Beach resorts," the complaint claimed.
Authorities seized the sports car and $3.4 million from various bank accounts upon Hines' arrest.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was implemented to aid Americans and businesses to remain afloat during the economic fallout prompted by the global outbreak. Small business loans provided through the program is for the purpose of paying rent or mortgage costs, utilities, and employee salaries.
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