Saturday, June 22, 2024

Carillon Developer Sentenced to 1-1/2 Years in Prison for Pandemic Loan Fraud; Fort Wayne Woman Pleads Guilty to One of 18 Federal Fraud Charges in 2021 Rent Assistance Scheme, and other C-Virus related stories

Carillon developer sentenced to 1-1/2 years in prison for pandemic loan fraud:
A federal judge on Friday sentenced developer Eric Sheppard to one-and-a half years in prison for fraudulently obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in emergency loans from a government program meant to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In punishing the 55-year-old developer, best known for renovating the Carillon Hotel in Miami Beach, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom gave Sheppard far less prison time than prosecutors sought. They had accused him of lying when he testified during his January trial that ended with his jury conviction for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Bloom rejected prosecutors’ moves to enhance Sheppard’s sentence based on allegations of obstructing justice and using sophisticated means to exploit the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, but she also denied defense lawyers’ bid for no prison time. He was facing up to two and a half years under federal sentencing guidelines for his crime.
“Certainly this case did not involve Lamborghinis or jewelry,” Bloom said, referring to dozens of PPP loan fraud cases in which South Florida defendants have been convicted of spending their ill-gotten pandemic loans on luxury items instead of business payroll. “But you received money to which you were not entitled.”
Bloom allowed Sheppard, a Miami native, to remain free on bond until after his restitution and forfeiture hearing on Aug. 23, and then he will have to surrender to prison.
According to evidence presented at Sheppard’s sentencing hearing on Friday in Miami federal court, the developer was convicted of receiving about $450,000 in PPP loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration after the COVID-19 virus swept the country in March 2020. Evidence also showed that the developer paid most of the loans back — unlike the vast majority of recipients accused of fleecing the system. --->READ MORE HERE
Fort Wayne woman pleads guilty to one of 18 federal fraud charges in 2021 rent assistance scheme:
A Fort Wayne woman has pleaded guilty to one of 18 federal fraud charges she faced in a rent assistance scheme.
Dora Boyd, 33, who owned and operated the nonprofit corporation Sowing Seeds Outreach, was indicted last year on the charges that alleged for nine months in 2021, she was applying to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was created to help households and individuals struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, under others’ names and purporting to be their landlord or landlord’s agent.
Court records show the total intended loss from the fraudulent applications was $400,981.25.
More than $166,292 was paid out to Boyd and Sowing Seeds Outreach as a result of the applications. Her charges lay out the amounts Boyd requested in 2021: --->READ MORE HERE
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