Florida Man Arrested After Using $3.9 Million Coronavirus Relief To Buy Lamborghini
A man from Florida has been arrested and charged after fraudulently obtaining $3.9 million worth of coronavirus relief funds.
Among other extravagant expenses, David T. Hines, 29, of Miami, allegedly used Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to splash out on a $318,000 Lamborghini Huracán.
The brand new luxury sports car has since been seized by the authorities, who have also seized money from Hines’ bank accounts: a grand sum of $3.4 million at the time of his arrest.
Hines was given funding under a Small Business Administration loan program, which had been intended to help his supposedly struggling moving business during what has proven to be a serious economic downturn in the US.
Aside from the extravagant car, Hines also allegedly used funding for dating sites, jewellery and clothing items, as well as on nights spent at fancy hotels such as Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau and Setai, the Miami Herald reports.
This was, of course, not what the loan program had been intended for, with funding made available for essential costs such as protecting employees and paying rent.
According to the Department of Justice (DoJ), Hines lied on his loan applications, making ‘numerous false and misleading statements’ about the expenses of the businesses and employees salaries.
According to an affidavit obtained by the Miami Herald, US Postal Inspector Bryan Masmela said:
Those 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.
Hines has today, July 28, been charged by criminal complaint, following his initial appearance before US Chief Magistrate Judge John J. O’Sullivan in Florida’s Southern District.
He has been charged with one count of bank fraud, one count of giving false statements to a financial institution, and one further count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds.
Hines could be looking at up to 70 years behind bars if he is convicted on all charges, The New York Times reports.
Hines was held at the Federal Detention Center over the weekend, and was granted a $100,000 bond by Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan.
He will now reportedly be permitted to stay at his mother’s residence with a GPS monitor. His arraignment has been scheduled for October 14.
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CreditsThe United States Department of Justice and 2 others
The United States Department of Justice
The New York Times