Man Who Received Millions in COVID-19 Relief Allegedly Used It to Buy a New Lamborghini
The US Department of Justice announced that it has charged and arrested a 29-year old Florida man for fraud. The complaint alleges that the man had fraudulently obtained a $3.9 million (about P195 million) funding for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
It was later discovered that the man used those funds to purchase a Lamborghini sports car for himself, according to multiple news reports.
U.S. authorities seized the $318,000 sports car and some $3.4 million from bank accounts at the time of arrest.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division led the announcement that David T. Hines, 29, of Miami was charged with one count of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution and one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds according to the US DOJ.
Hines allegedly sought approximately $13.5 million in PPP loans through an insured financial institution on behalf of different companies. The complaint further alleges that Hines made numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ respective payroll expenses. The financial institution only approved and funded approximately $3.9 million in loans.
The investigation showed that days after the funding was released, he purchased a new Lamborghini Huracan sports car for approximately $318,000, which he registered jointly in his name and the name of one of his companies. He also did not make payroll payments that he claimed on his loan applications.
Based on the criminal cover sheet issued by the South District Court of Florida, Hines also made several purchases of luxury items and staycation in some resorts in Miami. Court documents also showed that he went on a shopping spree in Sak’s Fifth and Graff Diamonds and encashed some checks pay to “mom” and himself.
This wasn’t his first run in with the law. According to the Daily Mail UK Hines was arrested for battery in 2018 when he and his girlfriend had a spat and she took off with his Lamborghini and was reported stolen by Hines. This Lamborghini isn’t the same one mentioned in the court case. He was also featured on a local Florida TV news for refusing to wear a mask just days before his arrest.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law in the US that was enacted last March 29 to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The US government authorized and initially allotted some $349 billion (approcimately P17.45 trillion) in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. Another $300 billion was authorized by the US Congress in additional PPP funding.