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Florida Couple Pleads Guilty to $1.1 Million PPP Fraud After Falsely Claiming to be Farmers

March 24, 2021
Legal News

DOJ Continues to Investigate and Pursue Convictions Against Individuals Involved in COVID-Relief Fraud 

Earlier this month, a Florida couple pled guilty to federal fraud charges after receiving over $1.1 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The couple allegedly filed four fraudulent loan applications claiming to operate a farm on their small residential property in Miami.

The trial lawyers at Mase Mebane represent individuals with knowledge of fraud related to the Paycheck Protection Program or other COVID-19 relief funds. Whistleblowers are afforded several state and federal protections and may be entitled to a portion of the government’s recovery. 

As a whistleblower, you are protected from retaliation, wrongful termination, and more. Call now to discuss your legal rights. If you have knowledge of PPP Fraud, contact our office for a free, confidential consultation.

Falsified PPP and EIDL Loans

According to the Department of Justice press release, Latoya Stanley and Johnny Philus filed four fraudulent loan applications through the Small Business Administration (SBA). In total, the applications sought over $1 million in COVID-relief funds as part of the forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

Stanley, 38, falsified a PPP loan claiming that she employed 18 people at her company, Dream Gurl Beauty Supply LLC. She also filed an EIDL loan application stating that she generated over $800,000 in income from a farm located on her small residential property in Miami. The farm, she claimed, employed five individuals.

Meanwhile, Philus, 36, filed a PPP loan application claiming that he employed 29 people at his company Elegance Auto Boutique LLC. He also filed an EIDL application stating he operated a farm at his Miami home and employed an additional ten people. An investigation found the Miami couple not only did not own or operate a farm, but they also did not employ anyone at any of their alleged businesses.

Compensation for Whistleblowers

Federal prosecutors continue to investigate and prosecute COVID-relief fraud throughout the country. Individuals who bring forth information regarding PPP fraud are not only protected by state and federal regulations; they may also be entitled to a portion of the government’s recovery through a qui tam suit under the False Claims Act.

The government often relies on information provided by private citizens and whistleblowers to successfully investigate and prosecute federal fraud cases. Learn more on our resource page: “PPP Fraud & Whistleblower Protection.”

Help Stop PPP Fraud! Contact Our Office for Free Consultation.

At Mase Mebane, our experienced attorneys have successfully recovered multiple six-figure settlements on behalf of whistleblowers in Miami and throughout the state. The information you provide as a whistleblower can stop fraud and be personally beneficial—you may also receive up to 30% of the government’s recovery.

Call our office at (844) 627-3529 or fill out our online contact form to speak directly with a skilled attorney. All consultations are free, confidential, and without obligation to retain our services. Get the superior representation you deserve. Contact our office today.

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