Some call it courage, others call it stupidity. It’s likely the Public Prosecutor is going to call it “bank fraud” – at least. Since the implementation of government rescue packages, there have been many warnings of pending attempts at defrauding programs that are rightfully implemented for the benefit of communities as a whole. While Australia launched Jobkeeper, Jobseeker and a range of government guaranteed business loans, the UK, New Zealand and other countries adopted similar programs to ensure businesses could maintain similar levels of employment without cost burden.
The US program of PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), whereby the government granted loans to support flailing businesses, was called out as being particularly susceptible. Well, in the first of what is likely to be many accounts of scurrilous and allegedly fraudulent behaviour, we kick off with a doozy! Readers could not have imagined a more apropos example of fraudster-esque behaviour than that which has been gifted to the community by Mr. David T Hines, of where else but Florida.
Mr. Hines was charged on Monday after using PPP loans to buy……..you guessed it……..a Lamborghini. David T. Hines of Miami, Florida, fraudulently obtained $3.9 million in PPP loans and used those funds to buy the Huracan, shop at luxury stores, and splurge on fancy Miami resorts. Subsequently, the DoJ charged Hines,29, with one count of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a bank and one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds. The DoJ complaint claims the man requested $13.5 million in PPP loans for four companies with dozens of employees, and in a strange twist, it was found that days earlier a local Florida news station had interviewed Mr. Hines about his refusal to wear a mask.
The DOJ’s complaint alleges that within days of receiving the PPP funds, Hines purchased a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan sports car for approximately $318,000, which he registered jointly in his name and the name of one of his companies. In the days and weeks following the disbursement of PPP funds, the complaint alleges that Hines did not make payroll payments that he claimed on his loan applications. He did, however, make purchases at luxury retailers and resorts in Miami Beach. The whole sordid, and official, tale can be read here………..
Chart of the Day
Former Federal Reserve Adviser and Dartmouth College Economics Professor Andrew Levin and Wells Fargo Head of Credit Strategy Winnie Cisar, join Yahoo Finance’s Akiko Fujita to break down the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold rates steady at near-zero.