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Florida Man Arrested for Spending Millions of Coronavirus Relief Funds

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  • The Justice Department arrested and charged David Tyler Hines with fraud on Monday.
  • He received $3.9 million dollars from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
  • However, he did not spend the money on payrolls. Hines bought a Lamborghini and splurged on other luxury items instead.

On Monday, David Tyler Hines faced the charges brought against him at the Miami Federal Court. They charged the man from Florida with one count of bank fraud and one count of making false statements. Also, one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds.

Hines, 29, asked aid from the government when the US economy collapsed due to the coronavirus. After the approval of the Cares Act in March, small businesses affected by the Pandemic started applying for loans thru the Payment Protection Program (PPP).

David Tyler Hines charged for fraudulently spending coronavirus relief funds

He initially submitted seven applications for seven businesses to a bank in Charlotte and sought at least $13.5 million in PPP loans for them. These included several moving companies, but the authorities found “no records of any operating websites.” According to the Prosecutors, Hines also erroneously claimed he had 70 employees.

The bank started sending him the funds on May 11. They approved three of his applications for $3.9 million.

Five days after receiving $750, 000 in one of the bank accounts, he allegedly purchased a Lamborghini Huracan for $320,000.

He registered the car under his name and under one of the companies that received the PPP loan. Furthermore, he went on a $4,500 shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue, and paid $8,500 on jewelries. He continued to spend the money on dating websites, food delivery services, and hotels from May to June.

In an affidavit, US Postal Inspector Bryan Masmela stated:

“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.”

“A review of Hines Companies Accounts from January to April of 2020 shows monthly inflows averaging around $200,000—far less than the millions of dollars in payroll Hines sought in the PPP application,” Masmela also added.

David Tyler Hines’ lawyer, Chad Piotrowski told the Washington Post that his client is “anxious to tell his story when the time comes.”

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