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Orlando Criminal Lawyer

Florida Man Sentenced In PPP Fraud And Identity Theft Case


On March 19th, 2024, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that Christopher Leo Daragjati of Clay County, Florida has been sentenced to prison in a complex fraud case. Mr. Daragjati—who is accused of both PPP fraud and identity theft—pleaded guilty to five separate criminal charges last year. Here, our Orlando white collar criminal defense lawyer provides an overview of the case and the criminal charges.

Florida Man Will Serve Prison Time for PPP Fraud and Identity Theft 

Serious criminal charges have been filed and a conviction has been obtained in the case against Christopher Leo Daragjati of Middleburg, Florida. Mr. Daragjati has been sentenced to five years in prison following a joint investigation by several federal and state law enforcement agencies. He was arrested and charged with wire fraud, identity theft, and theft of government property related to a scam of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was a federal initiative designed to help businesses maintain their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided forgivable loans to small businesses for payroll and other essential expenses.

Daragjati has been ordered to pay more than $360,000 in financial restitution for reportedly defrauding the program. Among other things, he has been accused of fraudulently obtaining personal information—including Social Security numbers, to apply for PPP loan forgiveness and file tax returns under stolen identities. His crimes involved renting and pawning equipment under false identities and successfully securing approximately tens of thousands of dollars in PPP loans.

An Overview of the Five Criminal Charges 

The defendant in this white collar fraud case was convicted of five separate criminal counts. Here is an overview of the specific federal criminal charges that were brought:

  • Wire Fraud (Two Counts): Wire fraud involves the use of electronic communications or transactions with the intent to defraud someone of money or property. It typically includes schemes executed over the internet, phone, or through electronic transfers.
  • Aggravated Identity Theft (Two Counts): Aggravated identity theft occurs when someone knowingly uses another person’s personal identifying information without permission, in connection with certain felonies, including fraud.
  • Theft of Government Property in Excess of $1,000 (One Count): This charge is brought against individuals accused of unlawfully taking property owned by the government valued at more than $1,000. It underscores the seriousness of stealing from federal entities. It is a very serious criminal offense that can carry significant jail time. 

Contact Our Orlando, FL White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando white collar criminal defense attorney is a tireless, experienced, and passionate fighter for justice. If you have any specific questions or concerns about facing a white collar criminal charge, we are here as a criminal defense resource. Contact us today to set up your fully confidential initial legal consultation. With a law office in Orlando, we handle criminal charges across the area, including in Kissimmee, Sanford, Winter Park, and Winter Garden.



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