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Crime The Crazy Case of Gaetz Wingman’s Fraudulent COVID Relief Loans

12:50  26 april  2021
12:50  26 april  2021 Source:   thedailybeast.com

Alleged sex trafficking victim may be cooperating with feds in Matt Gaetz investigation, ex-girlfriend says

  Alleged sex trafficking victim may be cooperating with feds in Matt Gaetz investigation, ex-girlfriend says Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) former girlfriend has expressed fears that a woman who is allegedly a sex-trafficking victim of the Florida lawmaker recorded a call with her, raising the prospect that a second cooperating witness is working with prosecutors in their investigation of the matter. © Getty Images Alleged sex trafficking victim may be cooperating with feds in Matt Gaetz investigation, ex-girlfriend says The lawmaker is accused of traveling with the woman over state lines for sex when she was 17 years old in violation of sex trafficking laws.

One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to 9 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID -19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice' s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form. Members of the public in the Western District of North Carolina are also encouraged to call 704-344-6222 to reach their local Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator.

This case is being prosecuted by U. S . Attorney for the Central District of California’ s Major Frauds Section. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief , and Economic Security (CARES) Act was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID -19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization of up to 9 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP.

Lost in all of the news surrounding an alleged sex ring involving Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his close associate Joel Greenberg are allegations about a more 2020 kind of crime: fraudulent COVID relief loans.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

Among the 33 charges Joel Greenberg is facing—including sex trafficking—are allegations that he bribed a government official and obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). According to the indictment, Greenberg, with the help of unnamed co-conspirators, bribed a newly hired Small Business Administration official in order to skirt federal regulations that would have otherwise prevented him from accessing disaster relief money set aside for businesses hurt by the pandemic.

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The coronavirus relief law created the former program, which offers forgivable loans to small businesses, and expanded the latter by extending emergency grants of up to ,000 to entrepreneurs. The federal government has provided PPP funding in two tranches so far — 9 billion in the first round and 0 billion in the second. Federal attorneys charged two businessmen on Tuesday for allegedly submitting fraudulent loan applications to the Small Business Administration, seeking roughly 0,000 in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Matt Gaetz Matthew (Matt) Gaetz Former Trump officials eye bids for political office Cancun fallout threatens to deal lasting damage to Cruz Thune: Trump allies partaking in 'cancel culture' by punishing senators who voted to convict MORE (R-Fla.) on Twitter on Wednesday The Florida Republican’ s comments also prompted “Howard University” to trend at the top of Twitter into late Wednesday. Many noted the school has a hospital that has been designated as one of Washington, D.C.’ s COVID -19 treatment facilities. The university also has a medical group known as the Howard University Faculty

Greenberg was himself an elected official at the time—the Seminole County tax collector—and he did not even operate an independent business, let alone one that would qualify for the taxpayer-backed COVID relief loans he sought. He allegedly got around that technicality by reinstating two of his companies that had been defunct for years—DG3 Enterprises and Greenberg Media Group, both terminated in 2016, the year he was first elected tax collector.

Prosecutors say Greenberg, with help from a “Recruiter Conspirator,” conscripted a government loan officer to override the SBA’s automated system. Among the list of criteria that the co-conspirators faked was revenue in the preceding year (a combined $1.2 million), the number of employees (12), operational dates, and, rather remarkably, that Greenberg was not under criminal indictment at the time. He applied for the loan on June 24, the day after federal law enforcement arrested him on charges of identity theft and stalking a political opponent.

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The unsealing of a federal indictment charging Kyle William Brenizer with fraudulently obtaining 1,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans intended to provide relief for small businesses affected by COVID -19 was announced today. This case is the result of an investigation conducted by IRS – Criminal Investigations, the FBI, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General, and the Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General. Assistant U. S . Attorneys Matthew S . Ebert and Allison K. Ethen are prosecuting the case , with assistance from the Department

Automatic Federal Student Loan Forbearance. The Confusing Case of FFELP Loans . Why You Might Not Get Interest-Rate Relief . What to Do if the Education Department Doesn't Own Your Loans . The Bottom Line. Having private loans —or federal loans that aren't owned by the Education Department—doesn't mean you can't get relief if you've been affected by the pandemic. Under a state-led initiative, residents of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington are eligible for relief on student loans not held by the Department

That same day, Greenberg, on partial release from jail and knowing he would soon be removed from office, immediately returned to his desk and attempted to secretly execute county real estate deals that would benefit some of his associates, according to a source familiar with the events. Although that scheme was thwarted, the EIDL application was not. Two days later, Greenberg was $132,900 richer, according to the charging document. He reinstated his companies with the Florida secretary of state two days after that.

But for Greenberg, the son of a wealthy Florida dentistry mogul, that apparently wasn’t enough. On July 21, he received roughly $300,000 from two additional EIDLs, bumping his total to more than $400,000, according to the Project on Government Oversight's COVID loan tracker. He paid the SBA official $3,000 for her trouble, using the online payment platform Cash App, and his friend and co-conspirator pocketed $16,000, according to prosecutors.

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An El Paso man was arrested last week and charged with practicing medicine without a medical license for selling and administering fraudulent Covid -19 treatments, according to the Texas Department of Public Service.

Covid infections are plummeting and, as the vaccine rollout continues apace, all the signs are that it is proving extraordinarily effective. According to a report from the UK Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium, just 4.2 per cent of the 42,788 Covid patients admitted to the hospitals involved in its study in the three months since the vaccination campaign got under way on December 8 had had the jab. Only 32 of these had been vaccinated for more than three weeks – the period after which optimum immunity kicks in.

The scheme netted six new counts against Greenberg, including defrauding the government, bribing a government official, theft, and wire fraud. Prosecutors want him to forfeit the full $432,700, and it’s unclear what he did with the money.

Those alleged crimes, however, would appear to be among some of the least of Greenberg’s worries. About a month after he received the second loan installment, prosecutors hit him with a scad of new charges, including sex-trafficking a 17-year-old girl.

Those allegations are said to have stemmed from the initial investigation sometime after Greenberg’s release in late June, and also reportedly gave rise to a parallel federal investigation into Gaetz, his close friend and wingman. The loan fraud allegations against Greenberg did not appear until his third indictment late last month, which swelled to a total of 33 charges.

Gaetz, who has acknowledged the investigation, also got pandemic relief money. His family-owned senior care company CareGivers Inc, in which Gaetz holds a sizable stake, took in $475,000 in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Greenberg’s attorney did not reply to a request for comment.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene team up to battle political opposition .
Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida have a lot in common. As each lawmaker increasingly finds themselves at the center of controversy, they often go out of their way to show public support for each other, raising concerns about the message they're projecting for the future of a party searching for its footing in the wake of the 2020 election. © AP/Getty Images They've now formed a joint fundraising committee and are making plans to travel the country together on what they are calling an "America First" tour.

usr: 0
This is interesting!