Officials announced that a pair of neighbors in Florida have been accused of attempting to scam the government out of $1.1 million in coronavirus relief funds.
Florida Duo Charged with Falsely Claiming To be Farmers
38-year-old Latoya Stanley and 33-year-old Johnny Philus, both of Miami, were charged Wednesday with wire fraud and making false statements in connection with a lucrative scam that netted the pair over one million dollars, the DOJ said. The pair filed four fake COVID relief applications for forgivable loans, the Justice Department’s press release states.
Stanley claimed to be employing 18 people for her company called Dream Gurl Beauty Supply LLC, in her Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application, with officials adding that she also filed an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), saying that she had five employees on her farm that supposedly generated more than $800,000 in income.
Philus, on the other hand, claimed to have employed 29 people through his company, Elegance Auto Boutique LLC. He also claimed that he had 10 people working on his small yard farm, which he said generated over $400,000 in income, in his EIDL application.
Neither of the two operated any farms, nor owned any, although somehow the two allegedly received over $1 million in requested funds before it was discovered to be a scam and before they were charged.
The Department of Justice calls for anyone who might have information regarding COVID-19 fraud or attempts to report it by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, or through the NCDF Web Complaint Form.