Florida Loans – Left Is Right http://left-is-right.com/ Tue, 18 May 2021 12:16:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://left-is-right.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default.png Florida Loans – Left Is Right http://left-is-right.com/ 32 32 Hundreds of PPP Loans Went to Fake Farms in Absurd Places — ProPublica https://left-is-right.com/hundreds-of-ppp-loans-went-to-fake-farms-in-absurd-places-propublica/ https://left-is-right.com/hundreds-of-ppp-loans-went-to-fake-farms-in-absurd-places-propublica/#respond Tue, 18 May 2021 09:09:48 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/?p=546 ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published. The shoreline communities of Ocean County, New Jersey, are a summertime getaway for throngs of urbanites, lined with vacation homes and ice cream parlors. Not exactly pastoral — which is odd, considering dozens […]]]>


The shoreline communities of Ocean County, New Jersey, are a summertime getaway for throngs of urbanites, lined with vacation homes and ice cream parlors. Not exactly pastoral — which is odd, considering dozens of Paycheck Protection Program loans to supposed farms that flowed into the beach towns last year.

As the first round of the federal government’s relief program for small businesses wound down last summer, “Ritter Wheat Club” and “Deely Nuts,” ostensibly a wheat farm and a tree nut farm, each got $20,833, the maximum amount available for sole proprietorships. “Tomato Cramber,” up the coast in Brielle, got $12,739, while “Seaweed Bleiman” in Manahawkin got $19,957.

None of these entities exist in New Jersey’s business records, and the owners of the homes at which they are purportedly located expressed surprise when contacted by ProPublica. One entity categorized as a cattle ranch, “Beefy King,” was registered in PPP records to the home address of Joe Mancini, the mayor of Long Beach Township.

“There’s no farming here: We’re a sandbar, for Christ’s sake,” said Mancini, reached by telephone. Mancini said that he had no cows at his home, just three dogs.

All of these loans to nonexistent businesses came through Kabbage, an online lending platform that processed nearly 300,000 PPP loans before the first round of funds ran out in August 2020, second only to Bank of America. In total, ProPublica found 378 small loans totaling $7 million to fake business entities, all of which were structured as single-person operations and received close to the largest loan for which such micro-businesses were eligible. The overwhelming majority of them are categorized as farms, even in the unlikeliest of locales, from potato fields in Palm Beach to orange groves in Minnesota.

The Kabbage pattern is only one slice of a sprawling fraud problem that has suffused the Paycheck Protection Program from its creation in March 2020 as an attempt to keep small businesses on life support while they were forced to shut down. With speed as its strongest imperative, the effort run by the federal Small Business Administration initially lacked even the most basic safeguards to prevent opportunists from submitting fabricated documentation, government watchdogs have said.

While that may have allowed millions of businesses to keep their doors open, it has also required a massive cleanup operation on the backend. The SBA’s inspector general estimated in January that the agency approved loans for 55,000 potentially ineligible businesses, and that 43,000 obtained more money than their reported payrolls would justify. The Department of Justice, relying on special agents from across the government to investigate, has brought charges against hundreds of individuals accused of gaming pandemic response programs.

Drawn by generous fees for each loan processed, Kabbage was among a band of online lenders that joined enthusiastically in originating loans through their automated platforms. That helped millions of borrowers who’d been turned down by traditional banks, but it also created more opportunities for cheating. ProPublica examined SBA loans processed by several of the most prolific online lenders and found that Kabbage appears to have originated the most loans to businesses that don’t appear to exist and the only concentration of loans to phantom farms.

In some cases, these problems would’ve been easy to spot with just a little more upfront diligence — which the program’s structure did not encourage.

“Pushing this through financial institutions created some pretty bad incentives,” said Naftali Harris, the CEO of Sentilink, which helps lenders detect potential identity theft. “This is definitely a case where companies that decided they wanted to be more careful in terms of giving out loans were penalized for doing so.”

Presented with ProPublica’s findings, SBA inspector general spokeswoman Farrah Saint-Surin said that her office had hundreds of investigations underway, but that she did “not have any information to share or available for public reporting at this time.” Reuters reported that federal investigators were probing whether Kabbage and other fintech lenders miscalculated PPP loan amounts, and the DOJ declined to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation to ProPublica.

Kabbage, which was acquired by American Express last fall, did not have an explanation for ProPublica’s specific findings, but it said it adhered to required fraud protocols. “At any point in the loan process, if fraudulent activity was suspected or confirmed, it was reported to FinCEN, the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General and other federal investigators, with Kabbage providing its full cooperation,” spokesman Paul Bernardini said in an emailed statement.


As soon as the pandemic swept across America, Kabbage was in trouble.

The online lending platform had launched in 2009 as part of a generation of financial technology companies known as “non-banks,” “alternative lenders” or simply “fintechs” that act as an intermediary between investors and small businesses that might not have relationships with traditional banks. Based in Atlanta, it had become a buzzy standout in the city’s tech scene, offering employees Silicon Valley perks like free catered lunches and beer on tap. It advertised its mission as helping small businesses “acquire funds they need for their big breaks,” as a recruiting video parody of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” put it in 2016.

The basic innovation behind the burgeoning fintech industry is automating underwriting and incorporating more data sources into risk evaluation, using statistical models to determine whether an applicant will repay a loan. That lower barrier to credit comes with a price: Kabbage would lend to borrowers with thin or checkered credit histories, in exchange for steep fees. The original partner for most of its loans, Celtic Bank, is based in Utah, which has no cap on interest rate, allowing Kabbage to charge more in states with stricter regulations.

With backing from the powerhouse venture capital firm SoftBank, Kabbage had been planning an IPO. Its model foundered, however, when Kabbage’s largest customer base — small businesses like coffee shops, hair salons and yoga studios — was forced to shut down last March. Kabbage stopped writing loans, even for businesses that weren’t harmed by the pandemic. Days later, it furloughed more than half of its nearly 600-person staff and faced an uncertain future.

The Paycheck Protection Program, which was signed into law as part of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, with an initial $349 billion in funding, was a lifeline not just to small businesses, but fintechs as well. Lenders would get a fee of 5% on loans worth less than $350,000, which would account for the vast majority of transactions. The loans were government guaranteed, and processors bore almost no liability, as long as they made sure that applications were complete.

At first, encouraged by the Treasury Department, traditional banks prioritized their own customers — an efficient way to process applications with little fraud risk, since the borrowers’ information was already on file. But that left millions of the smallest businesses, including independent contractors, out to dry. They turned instead to a collection of online lenders that have sprung up offering short-term loans to businesses: Kabbage, Lendio, Bluevine, FundBox, Square Capital and others would process applications automatically, with little human review required.

For the platforms, this was also easy money. In the first funding round that ran out last August, Kabbage completed 297,587 loans totaling $7 billion. It received 5% of each loan it made directly and an undisclosed cut of the proceeds for those it processed for banks; its total revenue was likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars. A lawsuit filed by a South Carolina accounting firm alleges that Kabbage was among several lenders that refused to pay fees to agents who helped put together applications, even though the CARES Act had said they could charge up to 1% of the smaller loans (a provision that was later reversed). For Kabbage, that revenue kept the company alive while it sought a buyer.

“For all of these guys, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. If you could do the minimum amount of due diligence required, you could fill up the pipeline with these applications,” said a former Kabbage executive, one of four former employees interviewed by ProPublica. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation at their current jobs or from industry giant American Express.

To handle the volume, Kabbage brought back laid-off workers starting at $15 an hour. When that failed to attract enough people, they increased the hourly rate to $35, and then $40, and awarded gift cards for reaching certain benchmarks, according to a former employee with visibility into the loan processing. “At a certain point, they were like, ‘Yes, get more applications out and you’ll get this reward if you do,’” the former employee said. (Bernardini said the company did not offer incentive compensation.)

In a report on its PPP participation through last August, Kabbage boasted that 75% of all approved applications were processed without human review. For every 790 employees at major U.S. banks, the report said, Kabbage had one. That’s in part because traditional banks, which also take deposits, are much more heavily regulated than fintech institutions that just process loans. To participate in the PPP, fintechs had to quickly set up systems that could comply with anti-money laundering laws. The human review that did happen, according to two people involved in it, was perfunctory.

“They weren’t saying, ‘Is this legitimate?’ They were just saying, ‘Are all the fields filled out?’” said another former employee. As acquisition talks proceeded, the employee noted, Kabbage managers who held the most company stock had a built-in incentive to process as many loans as possible. “If there’s anything suspicious, you can pass it along to account review, but account review was full of people who stood to make a lot of money from the acquisition.”

One situation in which Kabbage approved a suspicious loan became public in a Florida lawsuit filed by a woman, Latoya Clark, who received more than $1 million in PPP loans to three businesses. When the funds were deposited into accounts at JPMorgan Chase, the bank discovered that Clark’s businesses hadn’t been incorporated before the PPP program’s cutoff and froze the accounts. Clark sued Chase, and Chase then filed a counterclaim against the borrower and Kabbage, which had originated the loan despite its questionable documentation. In its response, Kabbage said it had not yet completed its investigation of the incident.

Although the Justice Department rarely names lenders that processed fraudulent PPP applications, Kabbage has been named at least twice. One case involved two loans worth $1.8 million to businesses that submitted forged information, and the other involved a business that had inflated its payroll numbers and submitted a similar application to U.S. Bank, which flagged authorities. Kabbage had simply approved the $940,000 loan. American Express’ Bernardini declined to comment further on pending litigation.

Shortly after the application period for PPP’s first round closed on Aug. 8, American Express announced the Kabbage purchase. But the transaction included none of Kabbage’s loan portfolios, either from the PPP or its pre-pandemic conventional loans. The PPP loans had either been sold to SBA-approved banks or bought by the Federal Reserve. Bernardini wouldn’t say which banks now own the loans, however, and said that no potentially fraudulent loans had been pledged to the Fed.


In April, an Ocean County, New Jersey, resident contacted ProPublica after seeing his name attached to a Kabbage loan for a nonexistent “melon farm.” To see whether it was an isolated incident, ProPublica took basic information the government released after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by ProPublica and others and compared it with state business entity registries. Although registries don’t pick up all sole proprietorships and independent contractors, the absence of a name is an indication that the business might not exist.

As it turned out, Kabbage had made more than 60 loans in New Jersey to unlisted businesses. Fake farms also showed up repeatedly in the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, according to reports from local news outlets.

A common tie became apparent when the resident of the home to which one nonexistent business was registered said that he was a client of the certified public accountants at Ciccone, Koseff & Company. In March 2020, the firm notified its clients of what it called an “ultimately unsuccessful ransomware attack” that occurred the previous month. According to information filed with Maine’s attorney general, the attackers acquired Social Security numbers and financial information.

Several other clients of the accounting firm, including Mancini, the Long Beach mayor, also had loans registered to their addresses. Reached by phone, firm founder Ray Ciccone declined to comment.

But that CPA’s data breach didn’t account for all of the suspicious loans ProPublica found across the country. Searches for PPP applicants that didn’t show up in state registration records yielded hundreds in 28 more states, with dense clusters in Florida, Nebraska and Virginia. Other lenders had nonexistent businesses as well, but fake farms only showed up in Kabbage loans. Most followed a distinctive naming convention, with part of the name of a resident or former resident of the home to which the business is registered, plus a random agricultural term.

Where Kabbage Made Suspect Loans

PPP loan applications approved by Kabbage, an online lender, to recipients who appear not to exist or say they did not apply, by county.

Source: Small Business Administration


Credit:
Derek Willis/ProPublica

Some of the fake loans listed addresses of people who’d also legitimately applied for their businesses. Hartington, Nebraska, anesthesiologist Bruce Reifenrath received a PPP loan for his practice in nearby Yankton, South Dakota. That’s why the idea of one being approved for a “potato farm” was so strange. “We did a PPP loan last spring and it’s pretty extensive, the documentation,” Reifenrath said.

Reifenrath was part of a cluster of dubious Kabbage loans in Hartington that also included the home of J. Scott Schrempp, the president of the Bank of Hartington, who confirmed that he did not own a strawberry farm. Schrempp said he had noticed the fake loan, and reported it to the SBA.

The SBA data only reflects approved applications received from lenders, some of which are then caught and not funded. The SBA also periodically updates its dataset to remove loans canceled by lenders. But none of the suspicious loans pulled by ProPublica show undisbursed funds, and they all have remained in the dataset for more than eight months.

One possible mechanism for the invented businesses is a technique known as synthetic identity theft, in which a criminal obtains pieces of personally identifiable information — such as a home address, a Social Security number and a birthdate — and combines it with fake information to build a credit profile. The associated bank account then routes to the fraudster, not the owner of the original information.

None of the residents of the phony farms ProPublica contacted were getting notices that they needed to repay the loans they didn’t apply for, because they didn’t get any money. But that doesn’t mean they’re not at risk, according to James Lee, chief operating officer at the Identity Theft Resource Center.

“Just having an address linked to your name on a fraudulent loan can impact your credit,” Lee said. It can also pose problems for pre-employment background checks, insurance applications or new identification documents like passports and driver’s licenses.

Meanwhile, if not corrected, the fabricated identities will stay in circulation and become better at fooling other financial institutions. “Those records get built into the credit and authentication systems used by government and commercial entities,” Lee said. “Each next time they are used and authenticated, the more ‘real’ they become. That’s what makes synthetic identity fraud so insidious.”

This, however, is largely not Kabbage’s problem anymore.

After its huge blitz of PPP loans last summer, Kabbage had hundreds of thousands of borrowers whose loans would need to be serviced until they were closed out. The loans could either be forgiven, if the borrower demonstrated that they spent most of the money on payroll, or paid back with interest. To finish the job, American Express spun off a separate entity called K Servicing, which would also take applications for a second PPP draw that Congress funded in December. The new entity is led by former Kabbage employees and its website looks very similar to Kabbage’s, but American Express says it has no affiliation.

If Kabbage was understaffed for the volume of PPP loans it took on before the acquisition, the situation has apparently worsened since then. Reddit, Yelp, Consumer Affairs, Trustpilot, Facebook and Better Business Bureau threads are replete with complaints from customers whose applications were denied or who received no communication from the company. When the SBA changed the rules in February to make the program more generous to independent contractors, K Servicing couldn’t incorporate the new forms into its processing system. So it told all new applicants to apply through another company, SmartBiz, which had operated as a mostly online processor of SBA loans even before the pandemic.

K Servicing is run by Kabbage’s former head of program management, Laquisha Milner, who also runs her own consulting firm. “Due to extenuating circumstances beyond our control, currently, our processing function is delayed,” Milner emailed in response to detailed questions from ProPublica. “We are relentlessly exploring all available options to ensure our existing customers are able to maximize their loan forgiveness.”

Jennifer Dienst is a freelance travel and events writer who received her first-draw loan from Kabbage and wants to apply for forgiveness before her window for doing so closes in the fall, but she has been stymied by K Servicing’s failure to make the forms available. “Please be patient with us as we prepare for the new forms,” a message on the loan portal reads.

Meanwhile, Dienst’s account has started accruing interest, which Milner said will not be charged if the loan is forgiven. But it’s making Dienst nervous.

“It’s always the same response from K Servicing — we’re updating our forgiveness forms and they’ll be made available soon,” Dienst said. “They’ve been saying that for months.”

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As pandemic continues, organizations offer alternatives to payday loan cycle – FOX13 News Memphis https://left-is-right.com/as-pandemic-continues-organizations-offer-alternatives-to-payday-loan-cycle-fox13-news-memphis/ https://left-is-right.com/as-pandemic-continues-organizations-offer-alternatives-to-payday-loan-cycle-fox13-news-memphis/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 23:40:00 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/as-pandemic-continues-organizations-offer-alternatives-to-payday-loan-cycle-fox13-news-memphis/ MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Tens of millions of people continue to struggle as the pandemic continues and many are among the millions of Americans who are turning to payday advances to try to make ends meet. They offer quick cash, but their easy access buries debtors in a cycle that some are unable to escape. MORE: […]]]>


MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Tens of millions of people continue to struggle as the pandemic continues and many are among the millions of Americans who are turning to payday advances to try to make ends meet.

They offer quick cash, but their easy access buries debtors in a cycle that some are unable to escape.

MORE: FOX13 Investigation: MPD Investigations Into Internal Affairs Of Summer 2020 Protests

There are plenty of options for those looking for quick cash, and it doesn’t take much to get a payday loan: usually all you need is a photo ID, a number social security and proof of income.

However, interest rates create a vicious circle that is difficult to get rid of. However, there are groups that are working to help people do just that.

With an annual interest rate as high as 459%, a loan of $ 200 could end up costing over $ 900.

“This is, for me, the definition of predator. They win when you lose, ”said Andy Posner, founder and CEO of Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit, US Treasury certified community development financial institution.

MORE: FOX13 Gets Real: Murders Are Not Just Numbers; these are families

The Capital Good Fund “helps people settle their finances,” and offers small loans and personalized financial and health care in Rhode Island, Florida, Massachusetts and Delaware, according to its website.

Shelby County is home to the largest number of payday lenders in the state, according to Chattanooga-based independent urban policy research firm Metro Ideas Project.

There are more than 230 payday lenders in Shelby County, according to the firm, nearly double the 109 in Davidson County.

“In order for them to benefit from it, you have to not be able to afford the loan as agreed in the contract,” Posner said in an interview with Zoom. “The only way the lender can make money is if the borrower is worse off at the end of the day than when he started the loan.”

Tens of thousands of people in Memphis are using payday loans. According to the Metro Ideas Project, the people most likely to have used a payday loan are people without a four-year college degree, renters of a home, African Americans, and people earning less than $ 40,000 per year. year.

MORE: State scholarship, mentorship program still needs mentors to reach 2021 target

Loans are advertised for emergency expenses, but 70% of borrowers use them for things like car, mortgage; and credit card payments, utility bills, food or rent, according to Metro Ideas Project and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

With extremely high interest rates, Posner said this equates to inequality.

“All of this contributes to what many people call a poverty tax, so that black, brown, indigenous and low-income communities pay more for things that others don’t.”

This is why Posner started the Capital Good Fund.

“I decided to create an organization that would provide alternatives focusing on marginalized communities and it has grown ever since,” he said.

MORE: FOX13 INQUIRY: Does Memphis, Shelby County Need a Witness Protection Program?

Hope Credit Union, a black-owned bank with branches in five southern states, including Arkansas and Mississippi, is another community development financial institution certified by the U.S. Treasury, according to its website.

“A lot of people go there on a day-to-day basis, and they’re not looking for the long haul,” said April Branch, manager of the company’s Ridgeway branch in Memphis.

“A lot of people get stuck in the payday loan cycle, and they feel like they can never get out of it,” Branch said.

Hope Credit Union loans are meant to help people rebuild credit and save money, the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in many communities “compared to payday loans, where they will just try to get you a loan. another loan just to cover that loan, ”Branch said.

When asked why it would be important to free black people from this cycle, Branch, who is black, said generational wealth creation is an important factor.

MORE: Residents of Harmony Park Apartment say they haven’t had a heating system in months

“Again, I think it’s important that we start using our money financially and find ways to help build generational wealth.”

Branch recalled helping a man refinance a high-interest car loan to save money instead. The man had an 18% interest rate, she said. After the bank refinanced his loan, he was able to start saving.

“I’m trying to break that cycle and get them out of that and get the big picture. … A lot of people think they have $ 5 (and) it’s not enough to save, but you have to start somewhere. “

“If you get into the habit of starting it will help encourage you to save in the future, so when you run into issues with these emergencies you can have savings set aside that you can use instead of leaving.” . payday loans. “

A statement was issued to FOX13 by the Consumer Financial Services Association of America, on behalf of the Tennessee Consumer Finance Association, the association “representing the licensed consumer financial services industry serving Tennessee consumers,” according to a spokesperson. word.

“The mission of the regulated consumer financial services industry is to ensure that all consumers have access to cost-effective and transparent financial services and credit options when they need them. As community providers, we play a vital role in the lives and livelihoods of millions of consumers and communities that are underserved, neglected or left behind by more traditional financial institutions, helping to enable and strengthen inclusion. and financial stability, ”the statement read. .


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Federal government to investigate P3 loan fraud https://left-is-right.com/federal-government-to-investigate-p3-loan-fraud/ https://left-is-right.com/federal-government-to-investigate-p3-loan-fraud/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 23:21:00 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/federal-government-to-investigate-p3-loan-fraud/ FORT MYERS, Fla .– Over the past year and a half, billions of taxpayer dollars have been sent to struggling businesses at the height of the pandemic. The US government has good reason to believe that all was not legitimate. More than 900,000 businesses in Florida alone have requested money from the paycheck protection program […]]]>


FORT MYERS, Fla .– Over the past year and a half, billions of taxpayer dollars have been sent to struggling businesses at the height of the pandemic.

The US government has good reason to believe that all was not legitimate.

More than 900,000 businesses in Florida alone have requested money from the paycheck protection program known as PPP.

A number of businesses like the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater in Fort Myers have been able to secure a P3 loan to keep their doors open and keep people working.

The federal government has said that not all businesses get loans so frankly.

Will Prather, owner of Broadway Palm, said he was not sure he could have stayed in business without the PPP loan. He called it a big lifeline for his business.

Last May, his scenes were dark. The future was uncertain, then his PPP loan arrived.

“This has allowed me to keep a large majority of my management team employed,” said Prather.

But not everyone spent the money the way they did.

“It’s disheartening to see that this is happening not only nationally, but also in high profile cases right here in Southwest Florida,” Prather said.

Casey Crowther was the owner of Target Roofing. He received $ 2.1 million in PPP. Crowther used it to buy a $ 700,000 catamaran and a lavish lifestyle.

He will be sentenced next month and faces 40 years in prison.

Lawyer Michael Hornung believes that in Crowther’s case, someone probably reported his abuse of the system.

A special inspector general hired to investigate cases like Crowther’s also found that Miami’s David Hines had received nearly $ 4 million in P3 funds and used a large part of it to buy a Lamborghini.

“The government now with a new Inspector General who has been appointed, I think for now they are going to go down and just like the tax returns, they are going to check some people in certain places here in the state of Florida,” he said. declared Hornung.

Suggesting that they will likely find even more frauds in Florida and elsewhere.

But those like Will Prather who spent it right have already had their loans canceled and are closer to getting back to normal.

“We have fat production that we’re going to run through July and early August,” noted Prather.

If you know someone or suspect that someone has abused the PPP loan program, please call the Inspector General’s office at 202-927-7899



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Farms in downtown Orlando? Some residents receive invoices for loans under the CARES Act that they did not apply for – WFTV https://left-is-right.com/farms-in-downtown-orlando-some-residents-receive-invoices-for-loans-under-the-cares-act-that-they-did-not-apply-for-wftv/ https://left-is-right.com/farms-in-downtown-orlando-some-residents-receive-invoices-for-loans-under-the-cares-act-that-they-did-not-apply-for-wftv/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 22:29:00 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/farms-in-downtown-orlando-some-residents-receive-invoices-for-loans-under-the-cares-act-that-they-did-not-apply-for-wftv/ ORLANDO, Florida – As so many people in our community struggled during the pandemic, crooks collected an estimated $ 80 billion in taxes by taking advantage of the CARES Act loan programs. Channel 9 investigative reporter Karla Ray cleaned up federal data and easily identified over 100 potential fraud cases by looking for a single […]]]>


ORLANDO, Florida – As so many people in our community struggled during the pandemic, crooks collected an estimated $ 80 billion in taxes by taking advantage of the CARES Act loan programs.

Channel 9 investigative reporter Karla Ray cleaned up federal data and easily identified over 100 potential fraud cases by looking for a single type of business here in central Florida.

READ: Florida police smash window to save dog from 115-degree heat

This is done to the detriment of real people whose names and addresses have been used for bogus loans.

The Small Business Administration kept spreadsheets of everyone who applied for economic injury disaster loans, and 9 investigators used these documents to research a type of business that is not too common here at Orlando: the farms.

“I just laughed,” owner Lisa Sconyers said. “What are you doing? It’s pretty funny.

READ: IRS to send refunds to those who received unemployment benefits and overpaid their taxes

Lisa Sconyers lives near Delaney Park, a short walk from Boone High School.

“There are no farms here. I think some neighbors may have chickens, but there are no farms here, ”Sconyers said.

Sconyers don’t know the first thing about farming. So when she started receiving invoices in the mail from the SBA under the trade name Richy’s Pig Farm, she knew it was a fraud.

READ: Child tax credit: Parents to start receiving advance monthly payments on July 15

“Immediately,” Sconyers said.

Sconyers’ address for nearly two decades was used by a scammer to apply for an EIDL loan through the SBA. The invoices now sent to him total more than $ 72,000.

“It is very frustrating. It makes me lose faith in the system that was supposed to save small businesses when the economy was struggling, ”Sconyers said.

READ: Target removes mask policy for vaccinated customers, employees

She is far from alone.

“At first I thought it was junk mail, then when I looked at it I thought it was some kind of fraud,” Dr Harun Fakioglu said.

Fakioglu is a pediatric cardiologist at Arnold Palmer Hospital, but someone used his name and address to set up a fake farm and cash a loan of almost $ 95,000.

READ: Florida reports less than 2K new COVID-19 cases for first time in a month

“I am a doctor and I see what people go through. I know businesses are affected, ”Fakioglu said. “But there still needs to be checks and balances on how you spend that money to try to stop fraud.”

9 Investigates analyzed thousands of loan applications through a federal database and discovered more than 100 fake farms in central Florida alone. This is just a bogus type of business used to embezzle taxpayer dollars.

READ: Parachutist dies after midair collision with parachutist in DeLand, police say

“It’s not too surprising to me,” said CPA Adam Markowitz of our results.

Markowitz described a perfect storm of an unprepared SBA and an effort to get as much aid to the economy as quickly as possible.

A recent note from the House Special Subcommittee on the COVID-19 Crisis shows that up to $ 79 billion in potentially fraudulent EIDL claims were paid over the past year.

READ: Ex-tax collector Joel Greenberg pleads guilty to 6 counts, including child sex trafficking

“The CARES Act went into effect on March 27, 2020, and it started paying EIDL money four days later, and PPP money three days later,” Markowitz said.

Sconyers stopped calling the SBA because they couldn’t communicate with a real person. We also couldn’t get in touch with anyone on his behalf.

“How does someone get $ 72,500?” How do you get this? It’s not like it’s $ 10,000 or even $ 5,000. It’s over $ 70,000. How is it even possible to have so much fraud? Sconyers said.

READ: Florida man accused of stealing samurai sword, truck stopped after leaving cell phone at crime scene

Payments of $ 354 billed to its home state are due as of August.

“I know what my debts are, I know what I owe and I know I never pay this. It never happens, ”she said. “You gave this money without checking or doing any due diligence, and it’s theirs.”

The bottom line is that you don’t need to pay if you haven’t applied or received money, but you should expect it to take some time to get sorted out. The Office of the Inspector General is currently reviewing 1.34 million EIDL fraud claims and payments, including nearly 750,000 referrals for potential identity theft.

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Proud Boys leader took out PPP loans after the far-right group formed a special unit for January 6 https://left-is-right.com/proud-boys-leader-took-out-ppp-loans-after-the-far-right-group-formed-a-special-unit-for-january-6/ https://left-is-right.com/proud-boys-leader-took-out-ppp-loans-after-the-far-right-group-formed-a-special-unit-for-january-6/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 20:18:00 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/proud-boys-leader-took-out-ppp-loans-after-the-far-right-group-formed-a-special-unit-for-january-6/ A leader of the Proud Boys, a far-right gang that played a disproportionate role in orchestrating the Capitol Riot, has reportedly secured north of $ 15,000 in paycheck protection program loans this year. The keeper first reported that Enrique Tarrio, a chairman of the group, was granted two loans of $ 7,750 respectively on March […]]]>


A leader of the Proud Boys, a far-right gang that played a disproportionate role in orchestrating the Capitol Riot, has reportedly secured north of $ 15,000 in paycheck protection program loans this year.

The keeper first reported that Enrique Tarrio, a chairman of the group, was granted two loans of $ 7,750 respectively on March 30 and April 16. According to records obtained by ProPublica, Tarrio is classified as an independent contractor working in “security systems services”. Tarrio is touted as the head of several limited liability companies including “SPIE Security LLC”, “Fund The West LLC” and “Proud Boys LLC”.

When applying for the 2020 Congress in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, Tarrio claimed to be the owner of “several companies involved in the surveillance and security industry.” However, Florida records did not indicate that Tarrio was a licensed security guard.

Tarrio is also classified as a registered agent of “Warboys LLC”, a company founded in July of last year but dissolved this year on April 7. Joe Biggs and Ethan Nordean, both facing a conspiracy, are also among the executives of Warboys LLC. charges related to the Capitol riot.

According to Penn Live, Warboys LLC reportedly shared the same address as another company known as “Proudboys LLC”, for which Tarrio was listed as both agent and manager.

Back in January, Salon detailed Tarrio’s series of failures in business and politics. It seems that the vast majority of the companies that Tarrio has founded are no longer active. In February, Tarrio ran for the 27th Congressional District of Florida, but failed to stand for election. Florida records appear to indicate that Tarrio, now 39, legally resides with his mother in Miami, where he operates a business known as “1776 Merchandise,” which operates the 1776 Shop, an e-commerce store that sells far-right goods.

In 2014, Tarrio was arrested and convicted of stealing and reselling diabetes tests from Abbott Labs – a crime that earned him sixteen months in federal prison. Tarrio has yet to pay the company $ 1.2 million in restitution.

At the end of December, prosecutors say, Tarrio announced the creation of the Ministry of Self-Defense, a special chapter within the organization. calling it the Ministry of Self-Defense. At least four men in the group have been charged with conspiracy during the siege on Capitol Hill, NBC News reported. On January 4, just before the Capitol riot, Tarrio was stopped to vandalize a black church and possess a high capacity power device. Tarrio was then barred from entering Washington, DC, which prevented him from participating in the assault on the Capitol.

The PPP loan program was first implemented under the Trump administration last year under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to help businesses and stay afloat during the pandemic. In January, Biden expanded the program for a second round, allowing companies to apply for more funding until May 31. However, according to CNBC, millions of borrowers missed the opportunity to apply for a second loan because the program ran out of funding in the first week of May.

While the PPP program has been a lifeline for several needy businesses during the COVID crisis, it has also come under heavy criticism amid revelations that large companies – as well as a high net worth The politicians – took out loans when many small businesses could not qualify.



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Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Micah Greenberg Pleads Guilty to Multiple Federal Offenses | USAO-MDFL https://left-is-right.com/former-seminole-county-tax-collector-joel-micah-greenberg-pleads-guilty-to-multiple-federal-offenses-usao-mdfl/ https://left-is-right.com/former-seminole-county-tax-collector-joel-micah-greenberg-pleads-guilty-to-multiple-federal-offenses-usao-mdfl/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 18:37:32 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/former-seminole-county-tax-collector-joel-micah-greenberg-pleads-guilty-to-multiple-federal-offenses-usao-mdfl/ Orlando, Florida – Joel Micah Greenberg (36, Lake Mary), a former Seminole County tax collector, today pleaded guilty to six federal offenses: sex trafficking of a child, illegal production of a forged document from identity, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, stalking and conspiracy. Each offense carries a separate penalty. Greenberg faces prison terms of up […]]]>


Orlando, Florida – Joel Micah Greenberg (36, Lake Mary), a former Seminole County tax collector, today pleaded guilty to six federal offenses: sex trafficking of a child, illegal production of a forged document from identity, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, stalking and conspiracy. Each offense carries a separate penalty. Greenberg faces prison terms of up to 20 years for wire fraud, 15 years for illegally producing a false identity document, 15 years for conspiracy and 5 years for criminal harassment. He also faces mandatory minimum prison sentences: 10 years, even life imprisonment for child sex trafficking, and 2 years for aggravated identity theft. Greenberg will be ordered to pay compensation to his victims for amounts to be determined at the time of his conviction.

According to the plea agreement, Greenberg paid for commercial sex acts, including with someone who was underage for part of the time Greenberg paid her to perform those acts. Greenberg had met the minor on a website and had engaged in commercial sex acts with her at least seven times when she was under 18. Greenberg also introduced the minor to other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts with the minor in the Middle District of Florida.

On the day of his arrest and execution of a federal search warrant at his residence on June 23, 2020, Greenberg was found in possession of two fake driver’s licenses in his wallet – each license contained the victim’s personal information but with Greenberg’s photograph. Greenberg used his position as a tax collector to facilitate the production of these fake driver’s licenses.

Additionally, Greenberg used his position as Seminole County tax collector to embezzle and embezzle more than $ 400,000 for his own profit, including buying cryptocurrency, to operate a business that sold mining machinery. cryptocurrency, for mining cryptocurrency, and for purchasing personal items, such as autographs. sports memorabilia.

Greenberg also engaged in conduct that caused and attempted to cause great emotional distress to a political opponent who worked in the Middle District of Florida, including knowingly sending false letters to the school where the employee worked. The letters claimed to be from an anonymous “very concerned student” at the school who claimed to know that the school employee had engaged in sexual misconduct with a particular student.

After his federal arrest in June 2020, and while on special terms, Greenberg conspired with a Small Business Administration (SBA) employee and another person to submit bogus claims to the SBA for loans in disaster, available under the CARES Act to businesses negatively affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. Greenberg and the SBA employee conspired to submit loan applications for two of Greenberg’s businesses, incorrectly claiming that companies were operating before February 2020, when in fact the state had previously administratively dissolved the two companies and Greenberg only re-established them to apply for the loans. Greenberg and the SBA employee also conspired to apply for a third loan on Greenberg’s behalf. Loan applications provided false information about the companies’ income and number of employees. As a result of the conspiracy, Greenberg received over $ 430,000, and he paid the person who recruited him into the scheme $ 16,000, and $ 3,000 as a bribe to the SBA employee.

This case has been reviewed by the United States Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s Office of Seminole County and the United States Postal Inspection Service. . She is being sued by Deputy Attorneys for the United States, Roger B. Handberg and Jennifer M. Harrington.



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Hancock Resource Center receives $ 400,000 for Rehab 40 Homes https://left-is-right.com/hancock-resource-center-receives-400000-for-rehab-40-homes/ https://left-is-right.com/hancock-resource-center-receives-400000-for-rehab-40-homes/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 17:34:00 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/hancock-resource-center-receives-400000-for-rehab-40-homes/ WAVELAND, Miss – (BUSINESS WIRE) – The First, a National Banking Association (The First), and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) awarded a $ 400,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to the Hancock Resource Center (HRC) to rehabilitate 40 homes owned primarily by older adults with special needs as well as low-income […]]]>


WAVELAND, Miss – (BUSINESS WIRE) – The First, a National Banking Association (The First), and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) awarded a $ 400,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to the Hancock Resource Center (HRC) to rehabilitate 40 homes owned primarily by older adults with special needs as well as low-income residents of rural Hancock and Harrison counties over the next two years.

The project started almost 10 years ago when the organization received its first AHP grant. Recent storms along the Gulf Coast have created an influx of residents unable to repair their homes and live in a safe environment.

Rhonda Rhodes, Executive Director of HRC, said the AHP is a great opportunity to serve individuals and families who cannot afford home repairs.

“Providing accessible housing is something we do,” said Ms. Rhodes. “The AHP allows us to fund repairs in our community to help improve the safety and appearance of those who cannot afford them. We have worked with The First and the FHLB Dallas for a long time and we really appreciate this partnership.

Jerome Brown, executive vice president and director of community development at The First, said the AHP is a great tool for community banks.

“AHP benefits community banks by enabling them to participate in innovative projects in their communities,” said Mr. Brown. “It has been an honor to work in partnership with FHLB Dallas to assist low-income elderly residents with special needs in Hancock and Harrison counties.”

AHP funds are intended to help FHLB Dallas members finance the purchase, construction and / or rehabilitation of owner-occupied, rental or transitional housing and housing for people who are homeless. AHP funds should be used to benefit households with incomes equal to or less than 80 percent of the region’s median income.

For 2020, FHLB Dallas has awarded $ 19.4 million in grants to 38 affordable housing projects. The subsidies will make it possible to create 2,749 new or rehabilitated housing units. That total includes nearly $ 2.3 million in grants for 231 housing units in Mississippi.

Since the inception of the AHP in 1990, the FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $ 323 million in AHP and dedicated homeownership programs and has assisted more than 57,000 households.

“The former is a great advocate for AHP and its benefits,” said Greg Hettrick, senior vice president and director of community investment at FHLB Dallas. “They have been a great partner and have leveraged the AHP in a multitude of projects over the years.”

For more information on AHP, visit fhlb.com/ahp.

About The First Bancshares Inc.

The First Bancshares, Inc., headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the parent company of The First, A National Banking Association. Founded in 1996 near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, The First has grown rapidly in southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Georgia, offering competitive services to those of large regional banks . The company’s shares are traded on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol FBMS. Information is available on the company’s website www.TheFirstBank.com.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank system established by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $ 61.1 billion as of March 31, 2021, is a co-operative owned by its members which supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 800 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information visit our website at fhlb.com.



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Ideal Home Loans talks about its purchase in this booming housing market https://left-is-right.com/ideal-home-loans-talks-about-its-purchase-in-this-booming-housing-market/ https://left-is-right.com/ideal-home-loans-talks-about-its-purchase-in-this-booming-housing-market/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 16:48:46 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/ideal-home-loans-talks-about-its-purchase-in-this-booming-housing-market/ The week Biden on low expectations wants Israel and Gaza to give ‘calm’ a chance President Biden is trying to tackle a number of big issues, and he quite clearly hoped that peace in the Middle East was not one of them. But the long-running conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted again last week, more […]]]>


The week

Biden on low expectations wants Israel and Gaza to give ‘calm’ a chance

President Biden is trying to tackle a number of big issues, and he quite clearly hoped that peace in the Middle East was not one of them. But the long-running conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted again last week, more than 200 Palestinians and 10 Israelis died, and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and Hamas rockets at Israel show no signs of abating. Biden said on Monday he expressed support for a ceasefire in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but he is not publicly pressuring Israel to agree to a break in the fighting and Netanyahu made it clear that he was not interested at the moment. Instead, Biden and his senior aides have used a version of exhortation for “calm” or “lasting calm” or de-escalation of “tensions” more than 40 times in the past week, Politico reports. “What about ‘peace’, ‘peace talks’ or even ‘ceasefire’? Not so much.” Biden and his team “have devoted relatively little time and staff to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.” Politico Reports. “The administration, and many other observers for that matter, have also concluded that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians have the political will to engage in serious negotiations.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that “every statement we make is aimed at reducing violence and ending conflict on the ground.” Ilan Goldenberg, a former Obama administration official, said calm was perhaps the most realistic hope right now. “Honestly, all the Israelis and Palestinians I speak to tell us not to use the word ‘peace’,” he told Politico. “They tell us that no one in the two companies thinks it’s possible at the moment.” But Palestinian advocates say Biden is aiming too low. Khaled Elgindy, director of the program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian affairs at the Middle East Institute, said calls for “calm” benefit Israel, as Israelis will return to relatively normal lives when the violence ends. while the Gazans, still under Israeli occupation, will return. to bombed buildings and heavy casualties. 7 terrifyingly funny cartoons about ousting Liz Cheney Researchers: Chinese businessman is the ‘linchpin’ of disinformation network pushing COVID, election lies GOP’s blatant disregard for democracy



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Marco Rubio continues fight to re-authorize SBA’s disaster mitigation pilot program https://left-is-right.com/marco-rubio-continues-fight-to-re-authorize-sbas-disaster-mitigation-pilot-program/ https://left-is-right.com/marco-rubio-continues-fight-to-re-authorize-sbas-disaster-mitigation-pilot-program/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 15:57:04 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/marco-rubio-continues-fight-to-re-authorize-sbas-disaster-mitigation-pilot-program/ Last week, US Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Which leads the Republicans on the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, brought back the “Provision of Resources for Civil Protection and Resilient Businesses Act. “ Rubio first introduced the bill in September with US Senator Angus King, I-Maine, as the primary co-sponsor. Other supports include […]]]>


Last week, US Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Which leads the Republicans on the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, brought back the “Provision of Resources for Civil Protection and Resilient Businesses Act. “

Rubio first introduced the bill in September with US Senator Angus King, I-Maine, as the primary co-sponsor. Other supports include US Sens. Ben cardin, D-Mary., Susan collins, R-Maine, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, John kennedy, R-Lous., And Ron Wyden, D-Oreg. Cardin heads the small business committee.

“The legislation would re-authorize the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Reduction Pilot Program to give small businesses the opportunity to take out low-interest loans to proactively implement disaster prevention measures.” ‘mitigation to protect their assets from future disaster damage. ” Rubio’s desk noted.

The bill “creates an updated pre-disaster mitigation program for small businesses to proactively take out a low-interest loan (up to $ 500,000) to implement measures mitigation to protect their property from future disaster damage ”and authorizes $ 25 million annually for the next five years. The bill would also have the SBA do more awareness about pre-disaster mitigation and offer advice to those who use the loans.

“Small US businesses should be able to prepare for unforeseen disasters,” Rubio said Thursday as he reintroduced the bill. “The PREPARE Act would give small businesses the opportunity to invest in mitigation before a disaster strikes, saving businesses and taxpayers money and reducing potential property damage.

“Over the past few years, we have seen an increasing number of natural disasters plunging communities into chaos,” King said. “In light of these growing challenges, it’s absolutely critical that we help small businesses take action to stay ahead of these predictable threats and protect themselves from potential natural disasters. This law encourages proactive efforts to prepare for emergencies and enables these small businesses to weather any storm that may arise and ensure they can continue to serve our communities. Our bipartisan legislation will only gain in importance as the effects of climate change continue to alter our nation; let’s get past it now, so small businesses in cities across Maine and across America can prepare for the next crisis. It’s not a question of “if” but “when”, so let’s help our small businesses protect themselves. “

the Association of Maritime Retailers of the Americas, the National Association of Manufacturers of Marine Products, the Association of Marina Industries and the South Florida Maritime Industries Association support the proposal.

The bill was sent to the small business committee on Thursday.

Home of the United States, Rep. American Joseph Morelle, D-NY, presented a similar proposal in July, bringing together ten cosponsors including US Representatives Brian Mast, R-Fla., And Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. Nightshade will once again be the champion of the companion measure.

“Our community knows only too well how devastating flooding can be for local businesses – many of which are already grappling with the severe financial consequences of COVID-19,” Morelle said Thursday. “It’s more important than ever that we take preventative measures to prepare for future floods and protect our small businesses from further economic hardship. Strong mitigation efforts are key to our resilience, and that is why I am so proud to join with my colleagues in bringing forward this much needed legislation and helping to strengthen coastal communities.

Contact Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.



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Joel Greenberg pleads guilty to child sex trafficking https://left-is-right.com/joel-greenberg-pleads-guilty-to-child-sex-trafficking/ https://left-is-right.com/joel-greenberg-pleads-guilty-to-child-sex-trafficking/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 15:19:40 +0000 https://left-is-right.com/joel-greenberg-pleads-guilty-to-child-sex-trafficking/ In a plea deal with widespread political ramifications, the former Seminole County tax collector Joel greenberg pleaded guilty Monday in Orlando federal court to child sex trafficking and five counts of fraud. Greenberg’s pleas were reported Monday morning by The Associated Press. ABC News reporter Will Streakin also tweeted the news. “Greenberg did not make […]]]>


In a plea deal with widespread political ramifications, the former Seminole County tax collector Joel greenberg pleaded guilty Monday in Orlando federal court to child sex trafficking and five counts of fraud.

Greenberg’s pleas were reported Monday morning by The Associated Press.

ABC News reporter Will Streakin also tweeted the news.

“Greenberg did not make a statement beyond the guilty plea and answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the questions,” Streakin tweeted. “Greenberg was shackled and handcuffed to a chain around his waist wearing a dark blue jumpsuit,” he wrote.

With Greenberg now locked up as a federal criminal, federal investigators are counting on his help and his testimony to land others. For months, reports of the affair shed light on the American Republican. Matt Gaetz and others in the Greenberg-Gaetz circle of Republican political associates and savage friends, involving trips plagued by drugs, prostitutes and money laundering.

So far, Federal Court documents do not identify Gaetz or anyone else as potential targets of the investigation. However, Gaetz admitted that he knew he was under a federal criminal investigation and had done so, at least since last fall. He denied everything wrongdoing and claims to be the target of a conspiracy.

Much of the government’s cause has come together after serving warrants to arrest Greenberg on initial federal indictments involving criminal harassment and gaining access to his computers, phones and servers.

As agreed by months of negotiations With federal authorities, Greenberg pleaded guilty on Monday to sex trafficking a child, which carries a mandatory 10-year prison sentence and would qualify him as a federal sex offender for the rest of his life.

He also pleaded guilty to producing a false identity document, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, criminal harassment and conspiracy. Among these, the charge of wire fraud could lead to him to 20 years in prison, and the production of false identity documents and conspiracy, each one punishable by 15 years in prison.

Sentencing will be delayed to see how well Greenberg is cooperating in investigating others. His plea deal requires him to cooperate with investigations and testify on behalf of the government.

In return, federal prosecutors have agreed to drop 27 other federal felony charges in indictments against Greenberg since his arrest last summer. The dismissal of these accusations also depends on the cooperation of Greenberg.

Monday’s pleadings went to the United States District Judge Leslie Hoffman in the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division of the US District Court.

Greenberg was first arrested on June 23 on accusations of cyberstalking and stolen IDs, in which he allegedly used his resources from the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office and social media to create fake characters and harass a political opponent.

After investigators got their hands on his computers, the case expanded to include a variety of additional charges, including the charge of sex trafficking, and questions leading to other figures. The emerging image suggested that Greenberg was buying drugs and prostitutes from political friends, sometimes for trips out of state or even overseas, using a Venmo accountand three other accounts, including an official American Express tax collector card.

At the same time, based on his guilty pleas, Greenberg was transferring the tax collector’s official money into personal accounts, converting it into cryptocurrency, and plotting to defraud the Small Business Administration with fraudulent program loans. paycheck protection. Part of his plea deal requires him to hand over more than $ 650,000 in ill-gotten assets.

The plea agreement says other people were involved in the SBA fraud, including a local official and a friend. They have not been named. Federal investigators are also investigating links with Florida’s medical marijuana industry.

In addition to Gaetz, perhaps Florida’s most prominent supporter of the former president Donald trump, former representative of the State. Chris Dorworth, Republican donor and entrepreneur of medical marijuana Jason Pirozzolo and former Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Halsey Beshears are also involved.

Federal officials also spoke to the 17-year-old when Greenberg paid her for sex and trafficked her to others, would have included Gaetz. They would also have been talking with an ex-girlfriend by Gaetz.


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