Florida man spent virus relief funds on boat
MIAMI – A Florida business owner who received more than $ 2 million in coronavirus relief funds used about a third of that money to buy a new boat, authorities said.
Casey David Crowther, 35, of Fort Myers, was arrested Wednesday on a federal charge of making a false statement to a lending institution, court records show. If convicted, Crowther faces up to 30 years in federal prison.
Crowther applied for a loan in April on behalf of his company, Target Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., according to a criminal complaint. Prosecutors said he claimed the funds would only be used for business purposes, such as worker retention and bill payment.
But shortly after receiving the money, Crowther spent $ 689,417 on a 2020 40-foot (12-meter) catamaran, which he registered in his name, according to the complaint.
Court records did not identify an attorney for Crowther who could comment on the case.
The Paycheque Protection Program represents billions of dollars in repayable small business loans for Americans struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which became federal law in March.
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