Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Ex-BSO Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Fleecing Hundreds of Thousands from COVID Loan Program; Ruby Corado Arrested On Federal Bank Fraud, Money Laundering Charges, and other C-Virus related stories

Ex-BSO lieutenant pleads guilty to fleecing hundreds of thousands from COVID loan program:
A former Broward Sheriff’s Office lieutenant on Wednesday joined a long list of BSO employees who have pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from a U.S. government-funded loan program meant to help struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ernest Bernard Gonder Jr. admitted in Miami federal court that he fleeced more than $167,000 from the federal Paycheck Protection Program — much more than 17 other BSO employees who were arrested in October on charges of stealing tens of thousands of dollars each from the same program.
Loan proceeds from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, guaranteed by the Small Business Administration, were supposed to cover payroll and other overhead expenses. But Gonder, like the other accused BSO employees, spent the money on himself instead of his purported companies, prosecutors said.
Gonder, 41, who formerly worked in the BSO Department of Detention, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of wire fraud and now faces up to 20 years in prison for each offense before U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams.
His guilty plea to charges filed in January followed the conviction of the first BSO employee to face trial on charges of bilking the Paycheck Protection Program. Stephanie D. Smith, a former BSO deputy school resource officer from Sunrise, was found guilty Tuesday of two counts of wire fraud in Fort Lauderdale federal court, including submitting falsified loan applications for two companies and fraudulently collecting more than $31,000 that she spent on herself. --->READ MORE HERE
Washington Blade photo by Ernesto Valle
Ruby Corado arrested on federal bank fraud, money laundering charges:
Ruby Corado, the founder and longtime executive director of the now defunct D.C. LGBTQ community services organization Casa Ruby, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday at a hotel in Laurel, Md., on charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and other offenses based on allegations that she embezzled at least $150,000 from Casa Ruby before it closed its doors in 2022.
The Office of the United States Attorney for D.C. announced the arrest in a statement released Wednesday, stating that Corado was being held until at least Friday when she will appear for a detention hearing at U.S. District Court for D.C., when a judge will decide whether she can be released while awaiting trial.
Corado had been living in El Salvador for at least the past two years or more following her decision to step down as executive director of Casa Ruby in 2022. Charging documents filed in federal court in D.C. on Wednesday do not say why Corado returned to the U.S., when she returned and how FBI investigators learned of her return.
“According to court documents, Corado received more than $1.3 million from the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program,” a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
The two federal programs were put in place at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist businesses and community organizations adversely impacted by the pandemic.
“Instead of using the funds as she promised, Corado stole at least $150,000 by transferring the money to bank accounts in El Salvador, which she hid from the IRS,” the statement says. “During 2022, when financial irregularities at Casa Ruby became public, Corado sold her home in Prince George’s County and fled to El Salvador,” the U.S. Attorney’s statement continues. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Four years on, the COVID-19 pandemic has a long tail of grief

Doctor who treated first US COVID-19 case weighs in 4 years later

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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