Florida couple defrauded $ 5.8 million in COVID-19 loans and posted cash on Fb, prosecutors say

DAVENPORT, Florida. – A Davenport couple face federal expenses after investigators mentioned they requested no less than 70 fraudulent COVID-19 aid loans from the Small Enterprise Administration for a complete of greater than $ 5.8 million.

The US Division of Justice introduced the fees in opposition to Julio Lugo, 44, and Rosenide Venant, 37, in a press launch Friday.

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In response to prosecutors, the Davenport couple labored collectively to use for loans beneath the Paycheck Safety Program and the Financial Catastrophe Mortgage Program. Investigators mentioned the loans had been taken out on behalf of shell firms created by Lugo, Venant and their relations. Investigators didn’t title the 4 dad and mom concerned in these fraudulent mortgage purposes.

The shell firms included a former tax preparation firm, which Lugo beforehand utilized in a tax evasion scheme in 2015, in accordance with the federal authorities, for which Lugo was nonetheless on probation.

A number of the names of the shell firms embrace; Sisters for Compassionate Care LLC, Rose Backyard Restoration Dwelling Inc. and Diamond Taxes and Multi Providers Inc., in accordance with the legal criticism.

Information present the couple used the cash to pay for a BMW 7 Collection sedan and spent greater than $ 49,000 in casinos and spent no less than $ 13,000 in weight reduction facilities. The couple additionally withdrew greater than $ 320,000, officers mentioned.

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Investigators mentioned Lugo went as far as to publicly show the misused funds in an 8-minute Fb video on July 1, 2020. In a video obtained by investigators, Lugo and Venant had been in a lodge room suffering from 100 greenback payments and Louis gadgets. Vuitton. Within the video, Lugo additionally exhibits off what he referred to as a $ 5,000 watch, in accordance with the information.

Photographs from the Fb video exhibiting Lugo and Venant with among the stolen cash, in accordance with the FBI. (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

Investigators mentioned the fraud came about between March and August 2020.

Each face conspiracy and misrepresentation expenses at a monetary establishment. Lugo faces further expenses for unlawful cash transaction because of fee from BMW.

If convicted Lugo faces as much as 45 years in federal jail, Venant faces as much as 35 years.

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