• A Miami man, 29, was sentenced to six years in prison for stealing $3.9 million from the federal COVID-19 relief program
  • The man spent the funds on personal items, including a Lamborghini, jewelry and vacations
  • He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in February

A 29-year-old man from Miami, Florida, has been sentenced to more than six years in prison Wednesday after he was found to have fraudulently obtained millions in COVID-19 relief funds and spent the $4 million he received in federal loans on personal items, including a Lamborghini.

David Hines pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on Feb. 10, according to a Department of Justice press release.

While he did run a business in South Florida, Hines applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans that far exceeded his actual business expenses. He initially requested $13.5 million in loans under the guise of false and fraudulent IRS forms in 2020. He claimed he had dozens of employees and needed funds to cover millions in salaries each month.

“As part of his guilty plea, Hines admitted that he fraudulently sought millions of dollars in PPP loans through applications to an insured financial institution on behalf of different companies,” the Justice Department stated.

“Plea documents indicate that in the days and weeks following the disbursement of PPP funds, Hines did not make payroll payments that he claimed on his loan applications. He did, however, use the PPP proceeds for personal expenses.”

Rather than get $13.5 million, Hines was given $3.9 million by the federal government. He wasted no time spending the money on personal items. However, a $318,000 payment for the acquisition of a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan did not escape the eye of authorities.

Other than that, Hines also spent the money on dating websites, jewelry and vacations at a local resort, the feds said. Based on records, he also made two payments of $30,000 and titled them “mom.”

Hines was forced to forfeit $3.4 million and the Lamborghini.

The unlawful spending spree of Hines was discovered when he was involved in a hit-and-run in July 2020 while driving the sports car, the Miami Herald reported. Worsening his case is that he encouraged others to also try to obtain fraudulent PPP loans.

The 29-year-old also complicated matters when he was uncooperative with the police. He was with his girlfriend at the time and even tried to flee the scene. Hines received a probationary sentence for resisting an officer without violence, a misdemeanor.

For those who may not know, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was implemented in March 2020. The intent was to provide emergency federal financial assistance to Americans in need of financial assistance. Up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses can be authorized for release.

Representational image Photo by Pixabay (CC0)