Florida man charged with spending coronavirus relief funds on a Lamborghini

Author: CBS News
Published: Updated:
Lamborghini (Getty Images via CBS News)

A Florida man was arrested and charged with fraud on Monday after allegedly purchasing a Lamborghini sports car and other luxury goods with the funds he received from the Payment Protection Program (PPP).

David Hines of Miami was charged with bank fraud, making false statements to a financial institution and engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds, the Justice Department announced.

Hines sought around $13.5 million in PPP loans on behalf of different companies, according to federal prosecutors. He received $3.9 million from the fund that is designed to help small businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, but instead of using that money to support his companies and employees, prosecutors say Hines splurged hundreds and thousands of dollars on a sports car.

Court documents allege that within days of receiving the multimillion-dollar loan, the 29-year-old purchased a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan sports car for just over $318,000 and went on a shopping spree at luxury stores in Miami.

“Instead of funding payroll, Hines spent the PPP money on personal expenses at dating websites, luxury jewelry and clothing retailers, and Miami Beach resorts,” the criminal complaint alleges.

The Justice Department also said Hines made false claims about payroll expenses when he filed his PPP applications.

“Those purported employees either did not exist or earned a fraction of what Hines claimed in his PPP applications,” the complaint said. “Hines falsely claimed his companies paid millions of dollars in payroll in the first quarter of 2020. State and bank records, however, show little to no payroll expense during this period.”

At the time of his arrest, authorities seized the sports car and $3.4 million from various bank accounts.

Millions of small business owners applied for aid through the Payment Protection Program after the CARES Act was passed in March to help address the economic collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.