Florida Man Fraudulently Received 3 COVID-19 Stimulus Loans, Department of Justice Says

A man in Lauderhill, Florida has received three separate stimulus loans as part of the CARES Act, which is being investigated as fraud. 32-year-old Judlex Jean Louis was arrested and charged with bank fraud, making false statements to a financial institution, and aggravated identity theft after receiving fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans, which were intended to support small businesses, according to a Secret Service report.

In addition to the stimulus-related violations, Louis was already awaiting trial for theft, money laundering, and fraud charges for an entirely separate series of crimes in 2014 and 2015. "The federal government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020 to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans suffering economic harm from the COVID-19 pandemic" read an official statement from the Secret Service. "One source of relief the government established through the CARES Act was the authorization of government-backed and potentially forgivable PPP loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses. According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, Louis received proceeds from three fraudulent PPP loans in early June 2020."

The report goes on to read that Louis' name was hidden on some of his PPP applications. One application actually contained his real name, but not his social security number. In addition, he also allegedly falsely claimed that he was not subject to any pending criminal charges when applying. Yet another of his apparent loan applications had the name of the business of a purported accomplice, though the accompanying bank statement was doctored. On the third loan application, Louis appears to have made up a business and used the name and social security number of someone who has no apparent connection to him.

There's also evidence that Louis appears to have deposited the PPP loan money into his accounts. Surveillance cameras caught him making a cash withdrawal from one account not long after the deposit was made. He's currently scheduled to appear for a detention hearing and preliminary hearing on August 14.

Louis is not the first 'Florida Man' who's been accused of defrauding the PPP program. Miami resident David Hines is currently facing charges, including bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution and one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds. Hines allegedly received $3.9 million in loans, some of which he used to purchase a Lamborghini.