By Victor Omondi
A Florida man is accused of fraudulently acquiring millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to buy expensive items for himself and other accomplices.
The PPP provides loans with a two-year duration and a 1% interest rate to qualifying small enterprises and other groups. The PPP permits the interest and principal on a PPP loan to be forgiven, provided the business employs at least a set percentage of the loan proceeds on payroll expenses and spends the loan funds on these expense items within a specified amount of time after receiving the proceeds.
In the Southern District of Florida, the Department of Justice has charged Valesky Barosy, 27, with fraudulently obtaining COVID-19 relief loans via the Paycheck Protection Program.
According to court documents, Barosy and his accomplices are accused of receiving around $2.1 million in PPP loans through the fraudulent scam. He then spent the illegally obtained monies on a Lamborghini Huracán EVO, Rolex and Hublot watches, and apparel from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel designers.
According to the indictment, Barosy is charged with five counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, and one act of aggravated identity theft. If found guilty of the allegations, Barosy could face up to 132 years in jail. A federal district court judge will decide on a sentence after examining the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
According to the Miami New Times, Barosy, who used the Instagram handle @your favorite entrepreneur_, is an accomplished executive for Financial Education Services Inc., a Michigan-based credit-score restoration and financial literacy company. Two years ago, in January 2020, AccessWire, a syndicated business news wire service, named Barosy one of the “Top 10 Leaders to Watch Closely in 2020.”
According to a media outlet, Barosy, then 22, became the firm’s youngest and fastest-growing vice president in 2017, with a minimum of $1.2 million in sales in his first year. The following year, Barosy was named the organization’s youngest regional vice president. He made over $3.6 million in sales and was the company’s youngest executive vice president, with revenues forecasted to reach $6 million and beyond.