FORT MYERS, Fla. Lee County was awarded about $4.6 million in a judgment against a venture accused of fraudulently accepting nearly $5 million in economic incentives.
Judge John Duryea made the ruling Wednesday in 20th Judicial Circuit Court.
Three people were indicted in March in connection with VR Labs Inc., a startup energy drink manufacturer that promised to bring hundreds of high-paying jobs to Lee County that never came, according to the Justice Department.
The company received money from the county through the Financial Incentives for Recruiting Strategic Targets program, better known as FIRST.
The county took legal action to recover that money. County attorney Ashley Knipe argued VR Labs “misappropriated” the money and VR Labs, which is without an attorney, offered no response, The News-Press reported.
The trial in a counterclaim VR Labs is bringing against the county is set for June.