Florida man pleads guilty to $2.6M COVID-19 relief fraud

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida man has pleaded guilty to stealing greater than $2.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

Daniel Joseph Tisone, 35, of Naples, pleaded guilty Monday in Fort Myers federal courtroom to wire fraud, financial institution fraud, unlawful financial transaction and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, courtroom paperwork present. He faces up to 60 years in federal jail at a listening to scheduled for Dec. 5.

Tisone submitted false and fraudulent functions to the Small Business Administration and banks looking for a number of completely different sorts of loans between March 2020 and April 2021, in accordance to the paperwork, which allege that the functions contained false details about his felony historical past, common month-to-month payroll, variety of staff and gross revenues. Tisone additionally submitted false payroll and tax paperwork, in addition to a pretend industrial lease, in accordance to the allegations.

He obtained one Main Street Lending Program mortgage, 4 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and 5 Paycheck Protection Program loans, totaling greater than $2.6 million, authorities mentioned. He allegedly used the money to buy two properties in Naples, shares and funding securities, a 2019 Tiara 34LS boat, a 4.02-carat engagement ring and ammunition. As a part of his plea settlement, Tisone should pay again the money and forfeit the properties, boat and ring.

The Paycheck Protection Program entails billions of {dollars} in forgivable small-business loans for Americans struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The money should be used to pay staff, mortgage curiosity, hire and utilities. It’s a part of the coronavirus relief package deal that turned federal regulation in 2020.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is designed to present financial relief to small companies which are experiencing a short lived lack of income. The Main Street Lending Program was designed to present assist to small and medium-size companies and their staff throughout the United States in the course of the pandemic.


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