MIAMI, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A Florida man accused of fraudulently obtaining COVID-19 relief loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) made his first appearance on December 29 in federal court in Ft. Lauderdale.
According to the indictment allegations, Valesky Barosy, 27, of Fort. Lauderdale, has submitted fraudulent loan applications on behalf of himself and his accomplices, seeking more than $ 4.2 million in P3 loans. In each loan application, Barosy falsified the applicant’s previous year’s expenses, net income and payroll, and submitted fraudulent tax forms to the IRS, the indictment says.
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According to the charges, Barosy and his accomplices received around $ 2.1 million in PPP loans from the fraudulent scheme. Barosy used the proceeds of the fraud to purchase a Lamborghini Huracán EVO, Rolex and Hublot watches, as well as designer clothes from Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel, it is alleged.
The indictment charges Barosy with five counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft. If convicted, Barosy faces up to 132 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Brian Swain, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
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The USSS Miami investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Bailyn is pursuing the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Grosnoff is handling the asset forfeiture.
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) law is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. . One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to $ 349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses, through the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized more than $ 300 billion in additional P3 funding.
The PPP allows small businesses and other eligible organizations to receive loans with a two-year term and an interest rate of 1%. The proceeds of the PPP loan are to be used by businesses on salary costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. PPP allows for the forgiveness of interest and principal on the PPP loan if the business spends the loan proceeds on those expenses within a specified time after receiving the proceeds and uses at least a certain percentage of the PPP loan proceeds on the expenses. salary. .
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On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General created the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Working Group to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with government agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent the pandemic fraud. The Working Group strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable national and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by scaling up and integrating mechanisms coordination, identifying resources and techniques for uncovering fraudulent actors and their programs, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.