If you’re going to try to get away with taking millions from the government that was designed to help businesses keep employees working, it’s probably not a good idea to flaunt your money on Facebook videos showing off $100 bills and thousands in Louis Vuitton merchandise. The FBI and Tampa IRS agents have been investigating the actions of a Davenport couple and what they found is pretty amazing.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 44 year old Julio Lugo and 37 year old Rosenide Venant are looking at doing some serious time. He faces 45 years. She is looking at up to 35. The couple is accused of defrauding the Small Business Administration out of millions. Criminal complaints were filed that accuse them of conspiracy and making false statements to a financial institution. Lugo is also accused of performing an illegal monetary transaction for misusing coronavirus relief money to pay off a luxury car. Investigators say at least 70 fake loan applications were traced to the couple’s home IP address, totaling more than $5.8 million.
How’d the money get used? Investigators say $62,000 was spent at casinos. $320,000 was withdrawn in cash. The big no no was when the Department of Justice says Lugo went on Facebook and posted video in a hotel room “littered with $100 bills and at least $5,000 in merchandise from Louis Vuitton.” [Source: justice.gov]