A Miami Beach man is accused of using COVID-19 relief funds to buy himself a brand new Lamborghini Huracán EVO, according to a criminal complaint filed against the Florida resident. The price tag for a Lamborghini Huracán EVO is more than $318,000.
In an announcement by the Department of Justice, David T. Hines was charged with making false statements to a financial institution, bank fraud, and engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds. Federal agents seized the sports car and bank accounts totaling $3.4 million when they arrested Hines.
Hines is accused of making misleading and false statements on loan applications seeking Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for several companies. The complaint alleges that Hines sought $13.5 million in PPP loans. The financial institution approved and issued roughly $3.9 million in PPP loans based on the information provided by Hines in the loan applications.
The complaint alleges that within days of receiving the PPP funds, he purchased the sports car, which he titled jointly in the name of one of his companies and his personal name. Hines also made purchases at resorts and luxury retailers in Miami Beach. The complaint also alleges that Hines did not make the payroll payments, as claimed on his loan applications.
What are Paycheck Protection Program Loans?
The CARES Act provided aid for individuals and businesses in the United States impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the provisions in the CARES Act was the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Under the program, the federal government authorized up to $349 billion in loans to small businesses. Congress authorized more than $300 billion in additional PPP funding in April 2020.
PPP loans help small businesses and other eligible organizations retain employees. The loans pay employee wages and other expenses. The program helps business owners and employees continue earning money even through various shutdowns and decreases in business.
Businesses can use the funds to pay rent, interest on mortgage payments, utilities, and payroll costs. The loans have two-year maturity rates and one percent interest rates. If the businesses use the funds according to the terms of the program, including spending the funds within a set time period and using a certain percentage of the funds for payroll expenses, the loans are forgiven.
PPP loan applications were reopened on July 6, 2020. Businesses and eligible organizations have until August 8, 2020, to apply for a loan under the program.
COVID-19 Pandemic Continues to Cause Financial Problems for Florida Businesses
Many Miami businesses continue to suffer financial losses during the coronavirus outbreak. Even though some establishments can reopen, they must follow strict COVID guidelines from the city and county to remain open. Many businesses throughout Miami and Miami-Date County remain closed.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Small Business Administration have resources and information to help businesses deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The City of Miami also has a list of business resources on its website.
Personal Injury Attorneys Are Available
Even during a pandemic, people are injured through the negligence and wrongdoing of others. Car accidents, defective products, slip & fall accidents, nursing home negligence, and other accidents continue to cause injuries and financial hardship for many individuals and families.
Access to legal advice is crucial. The steps you take after an accident or injury can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Our law firm remains open and available during the COVID-19 pandemic to offer support, guidance, and legal advice to injury victims and their families.
Some general tips to remember about personal injury claims include:
Report the Injury or Accident
If you are injured by a dog bite, pedestrian accident, or another injury, report the injury or accident immediately. Call 911 to report traffic accidents or dog attacks. If you are injured on another person’s property, contact the owner to report the injury as soon as possible.
Document Your Injuries and Damages
Seek medical attention immediately. Prompt medical care is vital for your health. It also improves your chance of recovering maximum compensation by documenting your injuries.
Keep copies of all invoices, bills, and receipts related to the injury and your recovery. It can also be helpful to take pictures of your injuries and keep a notebook detailing your daily pain and suffering.
Do Not Provide Statements or Sign Documents
The insurance company may pressure you to make a formal statement or sign medical releases. It is best to talk to an attorney first. The insurance company is searching for information it can use to decrease the value of your claim or deny your personal injury claim.
Complete Medical Treatment
Follow through with your medical treatment plan. You need to complete treatment before you settle your claim. Settling a personal injury claim before being released by your physician can result in a much lower settlement amount for your claim.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Accepting a Settlement
Before you agree to a settlement, talk to a lawyer. It does not cost you anything to get legal advice from a personal injury attorney. Make sure that the insurance company is treating you fairly by getting advice from a legal advocate who has your best interests in mind, instead of an insurance adjuster who protects the insurance company’s interests.