A Florida man received a $1.9 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan by the name of a fake business and then purchased a Mercedes and a pickup truck using some of those funds, as alleged by the federal prosecutors on Friday. Keith Nicolette, 48, fraudulently claimed that he owned a scrap metal business having a monthly payroll that exceeded $760,000 with 69 employees and thus acquired the loan, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Florida.
However, there were no reported wages for any employees in the year 2019 and 2020 in Florida that were under Nicoletta, according to the Associated Press reports. According to the federal prosecutors, Nicoletta immediately transferred the money he received in May between accounts at various financial institutions and thus laundered the PPP funds.
The federal prosecutors further added that none of the money received by him was used for payroll. He at least spent $106,000 on a 2020 Mercedes and then went ahead for a 2020 special edition Ford F-250 pickup. Moreover, he is also been known to have wired approximately $537,000 to an undisclosed property management company located in South Florida.
He had been arrested on charges of illegal monetary transactions and bank fraud last week.