(BREAKING WIDE) — Crooked Man Arrested for Fraud after Using $3.9 Million in COVID-19 Relief Funds to Buy Lamborghini.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 16 million people, claiming more than 660,108 lives across the world. The pandemic has also taken its toll on businesses and most are struggling to keep the lights on.
COVID relief funds were intended to help businesses and non-profits that are struggling in the midst of the pandemic — the kind of businesses that wouldn’t be able to survive without an injection of cash to keep workers afloat.
David T. Hines, a Florida man, was arrested on Friday and charged on Monday for fraud and other criminal offenses after receiving $3.9 million in COVID-19 relief funds and using the money to purchase a Lamborghini, Department of Justice with the statement. Over $3 million has been seized from his bank accounts along with the sports vehicle.
Federal officials allege that Hines fraudulently applied for about $13.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans for a few companies. PPP, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, was enacted on March 29 to provide small businesses with forgivable loans.
In the DOJ’s statement, Hines lied on the loan applications and made inaccurate statements about the expenses of the companies, including the amount paid to employees.
“Those purported employees either did not exist or earned a fraction of what Hines claimed in his PPP applications,” U.S. Postal Inspector Bryan Masmela says in an affidavit, according to the Miami Herald. “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.”
David T. Hines was approved for funding and received $3.9 million. Just a few days after getting the money, he bought the Lamborghini for $318,000. He is also alleged to have purchased luxury items from stores and resorts.Hines was in federal custody over the weekend, released on bond on Monday and is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 14.
Florida reported 12,523 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, marking the fifth consecutive day the hot-spot state reported more than new 10,000 infections, according to the state’s health department. Johns Hopkins University data analysis shows, there have been at least 350,037 known cases of COVID-19 in Florida and 4,981 deaths.
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David T Hines Arrested for Fraud after Using $3.9 Million in COVID-19 Relief Funds