A Florida nurse fraudulently obtained and laundered $420,000 in coronavirus relief funds, prosecutors say. According to a criminal complaint, Giral
A Florida nurse fraudulently obtained and laundered $420,000 in coronavirus relief funds, prosecutors say.
According to a criminal complaint, Giraldo Caraballo received a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program on behalf of his company, Professional Skills Inc., after lying on his application.
When Caraballo opened a bank account for his company in May 2019 he reported having two employees and annual gross sales of $70,000.
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When he applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan in June, Caraballo claimed that the company had four employees and that the company’s gross revenue between February 2019 and January 2020 was about $180,000.
Just six days later, he applied for a Paycheck Protection Program and reported having 28 employees and an average monthly payroll of $168,000, which prosecutors say is untrue.
Caraballo allegedly stated that the $420,000 in funds were to help keep employees on the payroll.
However, the complaint alleges that the funds never actually made it to his employees.
Prosecutors say the company’s bank account did not “reveal any paychecks to employees of PSI. Nor are there any payments to payroll service providers.”
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Instead of using the money for payroll, prosecutors said Caraballo used the income for personal expenses, including paying off his credit card bills and making mortgage, car lease and child care support payments, “among other transactions.”
The Paycheck Protection Program represents billions of dollars in forgivable small business loans for Americans struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s part of the coronavirus relief package that became federal law in March.
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The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program provides low-interest financing to small businesses, renters and homeowners in regions affected by declared disasters.
Caraballo could not immediately be reached for comment. Court records didn’t list a defense attorney for Caraballo.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.