Florida man received $ 1.9 million in coronavirus relief funds and used money to buy Mercedes, prosecutors say
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be out of date. Please look at the history’s timestamp to see when it was last updated.
TAMPA, Fla. (NEXSTAR) – A Florida man who has received more than $ 1.9 million in coronavirus relief funds is accused of using a bogus company to apply for a payroll protection program loan and for using the money to buy a luxury car and van, prosecutors revealed on Friday.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa said Keith William Nicoletta, 48, was arrested last week and charged with bank fraud and illegal money transactions.
Prosecutors accuse Nicoletta of falsely claiming in a loan application that he had a junkyard with 69 employees and a monthly payroll of more than $ 760,000.
Nicoletta got the PPP loan in May, which was part of the coronavirus relief program unveiled in March. Prosecutors said he did not report any employee salaries to the state of Florida in 2019 or 2020.
“No part of the money was used for payroll,” prosecutors said in a statement. Press release.
After securing the loan, Nicoletta transferred the money between multiple bank accounts and withdrew $ 100,000 in cash, prosecutors said. Nicoletta also bought a 2020 Mercedes for $ 105,000 and a Ford truck for $ 66,000. He also wired more than $ 500,000 to a property management company, prosecutors said.
Nicoletta faces up to 40 years in federal prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Suggest a correction