Photo: Miami-Dade County Department of Corrections / Wikimedia Commons (Alexander Migl)

Following the pandemic of COVID-19 in the world the aid from governments towards the population; however, some people have tried benefit of them, just like a man in Miami, who now faces criminal charges for bank fraud for buying luxuries with that money.

David T. Hines, 29, requested USD 13.5 million in soft loans of a federal aid program for those affected by the new coronavirus in the United States and instead of acquiring a treatment for the disease, the young man bought a Lamborghini, according to reports from the Miami District Attorney’s Office.

For this fact, Hines was accused on July 27 by Judge John J. O’Sullivan of bank fraud, in addition to having made false statements to a financial institution, as well as illegally make profit through bank transactions, the authorities detailed.

According to the lawsuit, the defendant requested the referred amount through the Payroll Protection Program loans, which are awarded to small companies affected by the health emergency of coronavirus on behalf of Differents companies.

In addition to the car, Hines also made payments for jewelry and luxury clothing, in addition to dating websites.  (Photo: File)
In addition to the car, Hines also made payments for jewelry and luxury clothing, in addition to dating websites. (Photo: File)

To get the money, according to information from The New York TimesHines said operate four businesses with 70 employees, Besides having monthly expenses of USD 4 million. One month after making the request, the young man received three payments of USD 3.9 million, but it did not stop there, as it continued presenting requests, which totaled USD 13.542.741, according to the authorities.

Within days of receiving the funds, Hines purchased a sports car on May 18. Lamborghini Huracan 2020, which has a value of USD 318.000, same that registered in his name and that of one of his companies. In addition to that, Hines’ financial statements also showed a wave of expenses, among which stood out luxury jewelery, expensive clothes, visits to resorts in Miami and payments in dating websites.

“There doesn’t seem to be no commercial purpose for most, if not all, of these expenses ”, explained Bryan Masmela, a United States Postal Inspector under affidavit, where he described more than one dozen of payments made by Hines between the months of May and June.

The US District Attorney for the Southern District of Florida stressed that in the days and weeks after the money was disbursed, Hines did not make the payroll payments on the loans and, rather, he devoted himself to carrying out the luxury shopping.

Through a statement, Hines’ attorney, Chad Piotrowski, mentioned that his client was “legitimate business owner who, like millions of Americans, suffered financially during the pandemic, ”in addition to saying that“ he is anxious to tell your side of the story When the moment comes”.

People walk with masks through downtown Miami, Florida.  (Photo: Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich)
People walk with masks through downtown Miami, Florida. (Photo: Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich)

However, Masmela pointed out, monthly expenses for Hines companies averaged around USD 200.000, a figure very for below the amount you claimed on your federal loan applications.

In addition, two of his businesses had a complaint history by dissatisfied customers, as they reported that these establishments carried out “bait and exchange practices, as well as other deceptive activities“The official announced in his statement.

This type of federal credits They may be forgiven if companies spend most of the money on rehiring workers with wages they had before the pandemic. Although, if they do not comply with this, they could be returned to two or five years with a interest rate less than 1 percent.

It should be noted that this This is not the first time that Hines has been involved in an issue with the Florida authorities.. In 2018, he and his partner were arrested for various charges, including escape from the officers, after being informed about a Stolen lamborghini.


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