Naples Felon pleads guilty to $2.6 million COVID relief fraud scheme | USAO-MDFL

Fort Myers, Fla. — U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Daniel Joseph Tisone (35, Naples) has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud, illegal money transaction, and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. Tisone faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for each count of wire fraud and bank fraud, up to 10 years in prison for the illegal monetary transaction count and up to 10 years in federal prison for possession of ammunition.

According to the plea agreement, between March 2020 and April 2021, Tisone, a convicted felon, submitted false and fraudulent loan applications for the Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL), the main street loan program ( MSLP) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at the Small Business Administration, as well as PPP and MSLP Approved Lenders. The loan applications contained numerous false statements, including the criminal history, average monthly payroll, number of employees and gross income of the applicant, Tisone.

In support of the fraudulent EIDL, PPP and MSLP claims, Tisone submitted false and fictitious payroll and tax documents, as well as a false commercial lease. In addition, Tisone fraudulently used the identification of individuals claiming to work for Tisone companies, including their names, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers (SSNs) to submit payroll and income tax documents. false and fraudulent wages. Tisone also fraudulently used an individual’s means of identification, including name, date of birth, driver’s license information, and SSN to submit a false and fraudulent EIDL application.

Tisone’s false and fraudulent misrepresentations caused SBA, PPP, and MSLP lenders to approve and fund one MSLP loan, four EIDLs, and five PPP loans, resulting in approximately $2,617,447.17 being deposited in accounts. banks controlled by Tisone. Tisone then illegally used the funds for unauthorized purposes and for his personal enrichment, including the purchase of residences in Naples, Florida, stocks and securities, a 2019 Tiara 34LS boat, a 4.02 carat engagement ring and ammunition.

Additionally, on March 20, 2022, while executing a search warrant at Tisone’s residence, FBI and SIGPR agents discovered assorted rounds of ammunition in Tisone’s master bedroom and garage. Specifically, over 800 rounds of assorted .223/5.56 caliber ammunition and 9mm ammunition were found in his home. Tisone, a convicted felon, was prohibited from possessing ammunition.

As part of his guilty plea, Tisone agrees to relinquish his interest in a 2019 Tiara 34LS boat, two properties in Naples, a 4.02-carat solitaire engagement ring, approximately $65,645.69 seized over two bank accounts and approximately $2,617,447.17, which are traceable to proceeds of the breach.

The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) is a federal law enacted in March 2020. It is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering from the economic effects resulting from the COVID pandemic. -19. One of the sources of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization of up to $349 billion in small business forgivable loans for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding.

The PPP allows small businesses and other eligible organizations to receive loans with a term of two years and an interest rate of 1%. Businesses must use PPP loan proceeds for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. The PPP allows interest and principal to be waived if the company spends the proceeds of these expenses within a specified time and uses at least a certain percentage of the loan for payroll expenses.

The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to small businesses currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Proceeds from EIDL can be used to cover a wide range of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continued health care benefits, rent, utilities and fixed debt payments. If an applicant also obtains a loan under the PPP, EIDL funds cannot be used for the same purposes as PPP funds.

The MSLP was designed to provide support to small and medium businesses and their employees across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program aimed to help businesses, which were in good financial health before the start of the pandemic, maintain their operations and payroll until conditions normalize.

This case was investigated by the FBI, Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR), the IRS – Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the Federal Reserve Board – Office of Inspector General. He is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Trent Reichling and Suzanne Nebesky.

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