A Miami real estate broker and influencer will spend the next three and a half years in prison after conning the government out of £316K in Covid relief funds in a spending spree on a Bentley, a luxury apartment and cosmetic procedures.
In April this year, Daniela Rendon pleaded guilty to one count of wired fraud.
She also had an array of charges that the prosecution dropped, including six additional counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and a further count of aggravated identity theft.
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During her sentencing, the 31-year-old confessed that, ultimately, it was materialism that got the better of her.
As reported by The Miami Herald, she said her actions stemmed from, 'Insatiable greed' because she believed 'everybody' was finding a way to obtain Covid-19 relief loans.
Upon realising that Rendon had been making a mockery of the loan system, the police circled like sharks.
The former 'Ultra Luxury' real estate agent was allegedly gutted to discover that she had not been harming the "Faceless entities of the U.S. government," but instead the “countless individuals and businesses” that had taken a hiding at the hands of an “Unparalleled period of economic distress.”
Taking her remorse into account, US District Judge K. Michael Moore, claimed that her confession and 30-page apology, prompted him to give her a three and a half year sentence in prison rather than four and a half year.
He asserted: “It’s not as easy to see that you’re really stealing from your neighbours, your friends and other citizens.
“It’s their money that goes to the Treasury that makes it possible to have these kinds of programs.”
While Rendon is staring at a difficult few years in a cell, that's possibly the least of her worries, as she also needs to find a way to pay back a whopping £156,266.
At the start of the pandemic, the federal government offered struggling businesses emergency funding to help them stay afloat and cover essential overhead costs.
The Small Business Administration set up financial relief schemes, including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Spotting an opportunity, the Floridian falsified her business records, such as her avenue revenue, payroll, costs of products, IRS tax info and number of employees.
Remarkably, her plot worked, and as per the federal indictment, she wound up landing a £291,573 PPP loan and a £7,846 EIDL loan.
Rather than use the money on legitimate business costs, Rendon went wild, leasing a 2021 Bentley Bentayga and a luxurious Biscayne Bay Apartment. Furthermore, she went under the knife for cosmetic procedures.
She posted it all for the world to see on Instagram, and now she's paying the price.
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