Florida man entered a guilty plea to defrauding $2.6 million in COVID-19 relief

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A man from Florida has admitted to stealing over $2.6 million in COVID-19 relief money, and he has entered a guilty plea.

Court records indicate that on Monday, 35-year-old Naples resident Daniel Joseph Tisone pled guilty in federal court in Fort Myers to four charges: wire fraud, bank fraud, illegal monetary transaction, and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. At a hearing that is due to take place on December 5, he will be subject to a maximum sentence of sixty years in federal prison.

According to the documents, between March 2020 and April 2021, Tisone submitted false and fraudulent applications to the Small Business Administration and banks seeking several different kinds of loans. It is alleged that the applications contained false information about Tisone’s criminal history, average monthly payroll, number of employees, and gross revenues. According to the accusations, Tisone gave fake documents about payroll and taxes, as well as a fake business lease.

According to the authorities, he obtained a total of more than $2.6 million in loans, including one from the Main Street Lending Program, four from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program, and five from the Paycheck Protection Program. According to the allegations, he used the money to buy two properties in Naples, stocks and investment securities, a boat model 2019 Tiara 34LS, an engagement ring with a carat weight of 4.02, and ammunition. Tisone must repay the money and also give up the residence, the boat, and the ring as part of the terms of the plea deal he entered into.

The Paycheck Protection Program will provide Americans who are having difficulty making ends meet as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak with small-business loans totaling billions of dollars that will be forgiven. The funds are required to be utilized for the payment of workers, rent, mortgage interest, and utility bills. It was included in the coronavirus alleviation package that was signed into law by the president in the year 2020.

The purpose of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is to provide small companies that are temporarily facing a loss of income with economic relief via the provision of loans. During the epidemic, the United States government created the Main Street Lending Program to provide assistance to small and medium-sized companies throughout the country, as well as the individuals that work for such enterprises.

Alfred Duncan

Alfred Duncan is a senior editor at The South Florida Daily, where he oversees our coverage of politics, misinformation, health and economics. Alfred is a former reporter and editor for BuzzFeed News, National Geographic and USA Today.

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