Florida Couple Arrested In Connection With Alleged $2 Million COVID-19 Fraud
According to a report from ABC News, a Florida couple is facing felony charges in connection with a multi-million dollar COVID-19 fraud scheme. Timothy Craig Jolloff and Lisa Ann Jolloff 56—both of Southwest Florida—are facing federal charges for obtaining an unlawful Economic Injury Disaster Loan. In this blog post, our Orlando white collar criminal defense lawyer discusses the COVID-19 fraud charges filed in this case.
COVID-19 Fraud Allegations: Economic Injury Disaster Loan
Timothy Craig Jolloff and Lisa Ann Jolloff of Fort Myers, Florida have been charged with the misappropriation of approximately $2.14 million in COVID-19 relief funds. Earlier this month, the couple appeared in federal court. They are facing felony criminal charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and engaging in illegal monetary transactions. Mr. Jolloff is also charged with wire fraud. According to the criminal complaint, the couple committed a fraudulent application for Economic Injury Disaster Loan. They allegedly also submitted a fraudulent application for financial relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The case is currently pending. Mr. Jolloff and Mrs. Jolloff are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
An Overview of Criminal Charges for Fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Economic Injury Disaster Loan fraud refers to the criminal act of deliberately misrepresenting information or engaging in deceptive practices to unlawfully obtain funds from the EIDL program, which is intended to provide financial assistance to small businesses suffering economic hardships due to disasters. Technically, this type of fraud is not its own separate criminal offense.
Criminal charges associated with Economic Injury Disaster Loan fraud can include wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and making false statements to a financial institution. Convictions may result in severe penalties such as imprisonment, hefty fines, restitution, and forfeiture of assets. The consequences aim to deter misuse and protect the program’s integrity, ensuring aid reaches genuinely affected businesses.
Federal Authorities Continue to Crack Down on COVID-19 Fraud
Federal authorities are intensifying their efforts to combat COVID-19 fraud across the nation. The Department of Justice, in collaboration with other federal agencies, is diligently monitoring the allocation and usage of COVID-19 relief funds. Several cases similar to the Jolloffs have been reported, where individuals and entities have exploited the relief programs for personal gain. The government’s focus is on ensuring that the funds are used for their intended purpose—to provide financial support to struggling businesses and individuals. Violators caught engaging in fraudulent activities are being prosecuted.
Set Up a Fully Confidential Case Review With an Orlando White Collar Defense Attorney
At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando white collar criminal defense lawyer has the unique skills, experience, and tenacity to take on all types of COVID-19 fraud cases. If you or your loved one is facing any type of COVID-19 fraud charge, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a fully confidential initial appointment. We serve communities throughout all of Central Florida, including in Orlando, Maitland, Windermere, Winter Park, Winter Garden, Apopka, and Sanford.