Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Florida couple charged in $5.8 million COVID relief fraud

Florida couple charged in $5.8 million COVID relief fraud

  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}

DAVENPORT (AP) — A Florida couple accused of COVID relief fraud filed dozens of false loan applications that totaled nearly $6 million, prosecutors said.

Julio Lugo, 44, and Rosenide Venant, 37, used some of the $5.8 million to pay off a luxury vehicle, and spent over $62,000 at casinos, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Lugo also posted a Facebook video showing “a hotel room littered with $100 bills and at least $5,000 in merchandise from Louis Vuitton,” officials said in a news release on Friday. The money was obtained illegally from the Small Business Administration.

Beginning in March 2020, prosecutors said Lugo and Venant submitted at least 70 fraudulent loan applications seeking funds from the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, listing shell companies that they or their relatives set up.

They are each charged with with conspiracy and making false statements to a financial institution, the newspaper reported. Lugo faces a maximum penalty of 45 years in federal prison if convicted, while Venant faces up to 35 years in prison.

Court records did not list lawyers for Lugo or Venant.

The FBI and the Internal Revenue Service’s Tampa Field Office investigated the case, according to the release.

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

The following people were booked into the Jackson County jail during the latest available reporting period, April 3-6:

  • Updated

The following people were booked into the Jackson County jail during the latest available reporting period, April 7-9:

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

News Alert