Florida man accused of using COVID-19 relief funds to buy a Lamborghini
A Florida man fraudulently obtained $4 million in federal coronavirus relief loans and used some of the money to buy a Lamborghini sports car, prosecutors said.
David T. Hines, 29, of Miami, was arrested and charged last week with bank fraud, making false statements to a financial institution and engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds.
Hines initially applied for approximately $13.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans on behalf of different companies and claimed he needed the money for employee payroll purposes, a criminal complaint alleges.
But investigators later discovered "those employees either did not exist or earned a fraction of what Hines claimed in his PPP applications," according to charging documents.
The bank had approved Hines for $3.9 million in loans. Within a few days of receiving the money, he allegedly purchased a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan sports car for approximately $318,000, which he registered jointly in his name and the name of one of his companies.
Prosecutors said he also spent thousands of dollars on luxury items and services at Miami retailers and resorts.
Federal investigators linked the sports car to Hines after he was involved in a hit-and-run on July 11, The Miami Herald reported.
Authorities seized the car and about $3.4 million during his arrest.
Hines appeared Monday before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge John J. O'Sullivan to be formally notified of the charges. His attorney, Chad Piotrowski, told the Associated Press that Hines is a legitimate business owner and is anxious to tell his side of the story.
The Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable loans to small businesses struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which became federal law in March.