Two South Florida men used fake and stolen identities to steal over $3 million in coronavirus relief funds, authorities said.
Jean Fleuridor, 41, of Weston, and Hasan Brown, 44, of Miami, made separate appearances this past week in Miami federal court on bank fraud conspiracy charges, according to court records.
According to a criminal complaint, Fleuridor, Brown and their co-conspirators began a scheme in 2017 to defraud a San Antonio, Texas, bank using about 700 fake identities, in addition to stolen identities, to create bank accounts and shell companies. From April to July this year, members of the group began using those fake identities and companies to fraudulently apply for federal loans meant to help small businesses financially survive the COVID-19 pandemic, prosecutors said.
Fleuridor's attorney didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Brown's attorney declined to comment.
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The Paycheck Protection Program represents billions of dollars in forgivable small business loans for Americans struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which became federal law in March.