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Florida man, 35, charged with $2.6 million COVID-19 theft

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A Florida man, Daniel Joseph Tisone from Naples, has pleaded guilty to stealing COVID-19 relief funds worth more than $2.6 million.

Court documents showed that Tisone, 35, pleaded guilty in the Fort Myers federal court to wire fraud, bank fraud, illegal monetary transactions and possession of ammunition by a convicted
felon.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on 5th December and could face up to 60 years in federal prison.

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According to court documents, between March 2020 and April 2021 Tisone submitted false and fraudulent applications to the the U.S. Small Business Administration and banks for various types of loans.

The government also alleges that Tisone’s applications contained false information about his criminal history, average monthly payroll, number of employees and gross revenues, as well as false payrolls, tax documents and commercial leases.

He subsequently received loans totaling more than $2.6 million, including one Main Street Lending Program loan, four Economic Injury Disaster loans and five Paycheck Protection Program loans.

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The Paycheck Protection Program handed out billions of dollars in small-business loans for Americans struggling from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program aimed to provide economic relief to small businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.

The Main Street Lending Program sought to support small and medium-size businesses and their employees across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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