“The Paycheque Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll.” This is the description you will find on the United States Small Business Administration website in the section dedicated to coronavirus relief options. However, some business owners have decided to take advantage of the COVID-19 stimulus by fraudulently using the funds to purchase high-end vehicles and making other unnecessary expenses.
After a Florida man entered the program to buy himself a new Lamborghini Huracan valued at $ 318,000, a similar story emerged about a resident of Texas. He also bought a Lamborghini, but instead of going for the naturally aspirated V10 supercar, he decided to go for a Lambo Urus. The high-performance SUV with a twin-turbo V8 engine starts at over $ 222,000 in the US for the 2021MY.
He allegedly obtained $ 1.6 million in PPP loans and used part of the funds to acquire a Rolex and a 2020 Ford F-350 truck. It goes without saying that the man now faces multiple charges, including for having made false statements to a financial institution, electronic fraud, bank fraud and illegal money transactions.
According to Department of Justice, the $ 1.6M loan also funded several real estate transactions rather than being used for what it was supposed to do – staff costs, rent, mortgage interest, etc. uses the money for eligible expenses. This was obviously not the case here.
As if that weren’t enough, the 29-year-old also spent thousands of dollars on strip clubs and nightclubs in Houston and used some of the COVID relief funds for extra lavish personal purchases.