A man in Florida is currently facing federal charges on allegations that he fraudulently obtained $3.9 million from the Paycheck Protection Program, then used the money to buy a Lamborghini. 29-year-old David Hines of Miami is looking at bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution and one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds.
The Department of Justice announced the charges against Hines a press release on Monday, according to The Hill. "The complaint alleges that Hines caused to be submitted fraudulent loan applications that made numerous false and misleading statements about the companies' respective payroll expenses," the statement read. "The financial institution approved and funded approximately $3.9 million in loans."
The PPP loans came as part of the CARES Act, which was designed to help support small businesses and other organizations while dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Hines had initially sought roughly $13.5 million in PPP loans "through applications to an insured financial institution on behalf of different companies," the DoJ continued.
"In the days and weeks following the disbursement of PPP funds, the complaint alleges that Hines did not make payroll payments that he claimed on his loan applications. He did, however, make purchases at luxury retailers and resorts in Miami Beach." These purchases included $318,000 on a 2020 Lamborghini Huracán sports car, which was registered in his name and the name of one of his companies.
The issue with Hines is one of many that became synonymous with the PPP loans. Kanye West's California-based Yeezy LLC was listed in the log as having received somewhere between $2 million and $5 million. Despite West's billionaire status, Yeezy self-identified as being male-owned and a Black or African-American business, claiming that 160 jobs were saved using the loan.
Along with West, the family of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also received somewhere between $1-$2 million for their company, McEnany Roofing, and its (approximately) 141 employees. Incidents like these seemed to contradict the press secretary's claims about the program she made speaking to Fox News back in April. "The vast majority — as I noted, 1 million of the 1.6 million loans that went out — were companies with 10 or fewer employees," McEnany said at the time. "That is what this program is designed to do. That is who it is helping."