Fraudulent use of COVID Relief Monies

Fraudulent use of COVID Relief Monies

Two Miami neighbors fraudulently use Coronavirus Aid

Two Miami neighbors fraudulently use Coronavirus Aid

By Megan Porter, Marketing

Two neighbors in Miami are currently under investigation for alleged fraudulent use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act funds. Between them, the two Florida residents applied for $1.1 million dollars in economic relief loans from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), both guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the CARES act.

The CARES act provided up to $349 billion to be used to help small businesses through the economic downturn that came with closures due to the COVID-19 virus. Funds from the PPP were to be used to help small business owners continue to pay their employees and provide for basic business expenses, such as utilities and rent. The EIDL, on the other hand, was established to supplement small business revenue to prevent bankruptcy. The EIDL fund could be used to cover a larger variety of expenses than PPP funds, including paying for health care costs and normal operating expenses.

The two Miami residents were accused of requesting relief loans for non-existent businesses. Both applied for loans from both the PPP and EIDL programs. Latoya Stanley requested funds for her beauty company, which she stated employed 18 people, and for a farm based in her backyard that employed 5 people and produced $800,000 in revenue. Johnny Philus, on the other hand, requested aid from the PPP for the 29 employees of his auto shop while also applying for a loan from the EIDL to help him and his ten employees with the expenses of his backyard farm. Philus stated on his application that this farm grosses $400,000 a year.

This case is still under prosecution, and soon a verdict of innocent or guilty must be reached. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to tell if these two Miami neighbors really did lie on their loan applications? Converus has come up with a solution: the EyeDetect® test. Using eye movement and pupil dilation, EyeDetect’s algorithms can tell when someone is lying with 85% confidence. In this case, it would be simple to have Philus and Stanley sit down, take the thirty minute exam, and avoid thousands of dollars in court fees and prosecution costs, not to mention saving precious time. Innocent or guilty, the eyes don’t lie.

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Photo by / Daniel Roberts