Another Week, Another Luxury Car Bought With COVID Relief Funds

Weekly Newsletter | October 9, 2020 | Subscribe

COVID-19 Related Fraud

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NBC Miami: Pretty Ricky Rapper Accused of Pocketing COVID Relief Money to Buy Ferrari South Florida rapper and member of the group Pretty Ricky was arrested in alleged participation in a $24 million COVID-19 relief fraud scheme. Allegedly, the rapper obtained money for a Ferrari by falsifying documents to get a Paycheck Protection Program loan worth nearly $427,000 dollars. He allegedly did the same for another loan worth nearly $1 million.

POGO: Lamborghinis, Strip Clubs, Bogus Companies, and Lies The Project on Government Oversight compiled an analysis on the first fifty-six Paycheck Protection Program fraud cases brought on by the Justice Department. In some of these cases, fraudsters allegedly used the money for sport cars, yachts, and other luxury products.

Dept. of Justice: Florida Recording Artist and Pennsylvania Man Charged in $24 Million Covid-Relief Fraud Scheme A Florida recording artist and a Pennsylvania towing company owner have been charged for alleged participation in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $24 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The recording artist allegedly received $426,717 for his company, LLC and of $708,065 for his other company, Blue Star Records LLC, both using falsified documents. He allegedly purchased a Ferrari for $96,000 and made other luxury purchases using PPP loan proceeds.

Dept. of Justice: 18 Pennsylvania Prison Inmates and Accomplices Charged with Fraudulently Obtaining Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Funds Twelve Pennsylvania prison inmates and their accomplices were charged with federally with fraudulently applying for and obtaining emergency unemployment benefits related to COVID-19.  The defendants are charged with submitting false applications claiming that the prison inmates lost jobs as a result of the pandemic and are available to work full-time. All the defendants were arrested and taken into custody.

Reuters: U.S. starts forgiving pandemic loans amid criticism, uncertainty The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is criticizing the government’s process to forgive the small business loans from a $525 billion pandemic relief plan which will shift the cost to taxpayers. The Small Business Administration has been criticized with failing to demonstrate its ability to prevent fraud and abuse.

Case Settlements & Opinions


WJCL: US Attorney says more than $1.5 billion fraudulent telemedicine claims were issued in Southern Georgia In an operation called Rubber Stamp, federal officials in the Southern District of Georgia have been digging through consumer complaints, bank records, and medical records to identify fraudulent schemes. More than $1.5 billion fraudulent claims were issued, manipulating programs like Medicare or Medicaid.

NBC New York: Man Connected to Alleged NYPD Van Brake Sabotage Now Faces Wire Fraud Charge The 24-year-old New York man, who was arrested for allegedly cutting the brake lines of an NYPD van during the George Floyd protests this past summer, received stimulus money for a nonexistent business. According to the complaint, he claimed that he was the sole proprietor of a car wash business located at his home address, employed ten individuals, and that his gross revenue for the 12 months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was $150,000.

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