Florida Man Gets 6 Years For PPP Fraud: Why He’s Not The Only One In Trouble

3/6/2023 by Brian Hamachek

In South Florida, the U.S. Attorney's Office has reported an increase in financial crime waves following the passage of the CARES Act. Such criminal activity includes businessman Jimmy Barosy, who used Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) money to purchase a $318,000 Lamborghini, a nurse allegedly lying about his business to get $474,000, and a couple claiming to be farmers to qualify for $1 million in relief benefits.

Barosy committed fraud by fabricating prior-year business expenses, net profits, and employee payrolls to secure more than $4 million in PPP loans. He used the tainted money to buy a Lamborghini, designer clothes, and luxury watches. Barosy boasted an Instagram account with over 110,000 followers, often posting photos of himself driving the Lambo and flying on a private jet.

Barosy was arrested in December 2021 and was sentenced to six years in prison by U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith. His attorney Omar Lopez downplayed the sophisticated and complex nature of the scheme. Lopez noted that the PPP loans were processed by a bank, and Barosy received the proceeds either directly into his account or as commissions from other applicants whom he represented in the scheme.

The PPP program was created to help small businesses affected by the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The U.S. will seize items purchased with the fraudulent money. Additionally, two Florida men pleaded guilty to helping arrange over $35 million in PPP loans, and former NFL player Joshua Bellamy was sentenced to more than three years in prison for wire-fraud conspiracy.

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