A pair of Miami neighbors were charged in Federal court last week for allegedly seeking more than $1.1 million in fraudulent loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program.
Federal prosecutors say the duo, one woman 38 years of age and the other a man five years her junior, submitted four loan applications. They allegedly worked together on the applications, which they were said to have claimed on behalf of two businesses and two farms.
The woman’s application allegedly indicated that she operated a beauty supply store that employed 18 workers. The other application she allegedly submitted claimed that she operated a farm at her residence that generated over $800,000 in income per year and employed 5 workers.
Meanwhile, the man allegedly sent in two fraudulent applications, one of which identified an auto detailing business that employed 29 workers and a farming operation that generated $400,000 per year in income while employing ten workers.
However, it quickly became clear that the duo did not operate any such business, and investigators say they cooperated on the applications, which accounted for their similarity. Ultimately the defendants were paid over $1 million in funds before investigators discovered the alleged fraud.
The pair were charged last week in the court of U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes in the Southern District of Florida with wire fraud and false statements. No subsequent appearances have yet been scheduled for the defendants.