US man took coronavirus aid to buy Lamborghini
Published : Wednesday, 29 July, 2020 at 10:57 AM Count : 290
A man in Florida who received nearly US$4 million (S$5.5 million) in federal loans intended to help struggling businesses - and spent the money on a new Lamborghini Huracán sports car and other fraudulent purchases - was arrested and charged with three felonies, officials said on Monday.
David T Hines, 29, of Miami, was charged with bank fraud, making a false statement to a lending institution and engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds, according to prosecutors in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. If convicted on all charges, he could face up to 70 years in prison, an official in the prosecutor's office said.
In April, Hines joined scores of other business owners who are seeking financial help from the federal Paycheck Protection Programme, a loan programme created to help businesses keep their employees during the coronavirus pandemic.
On his applications, Hines said he operated four businesses with 70 employees and had US$4 million in monthly expenses.
He got US$13,542,741in installments, officials said.
What came next, based on a review of Hines' financial records, was a spending spree that included luxury jewellery, expensive clothes, visits to resorts and expenses on dating websites, officials said. He spent tens of thousands on those. The biggest purchase appears to have been made May 18, when Hines bought a blue Lamborghini for US$318,497 in North Miami Beach, officials said.
The Straits Times/MUS