David Tyler Hines spent PPP funds on hotels, jewelry and $318,497 Lamborghini, authorities say

Funds from the $521 billion Paycheck Protection Program are intended for small businesses so they can keep workers on the payroll throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

David Tyler Hines, 29, not only filed fraudulent PPP claims, but also spent the money on a $318,497.53 Lamborghini Huracán EVO and other “luxury and personal items”, including nearly $5,000 at Saks Fifth Ave, more than $11,000 at two Miami-area hotels and an $8,530 purchase at Graff Diamonds, investigators said.

“There doesn’t appear to be a business purpose for most, if not all, of this spending,” said the criminal complaint bed.

CNN obtained a photo of a blue Lamborghini through a law enforcement source, which they believe is the one Hines bought.

Bank records obtained by US Post investigators show Hines secured nearly $4 million in taxpayer dollars through three low-interest, forgivable PPP loans. He originally requested $13.5 million in seven PPP loan applications, saying his four businesses needed the funds to continue paying employees.

“These alleged employees did not exist or earned only a fraction of what Hines claimed,” U.S. Postal Inspector Bryan Masmela wrote in the complaint.

The billing document went on to note that clients claimed on the Better Business Bureau website that two of Hines’ companies used “bait and switch practices and other deceptive activities.”

In addition, one of these companies had not filed its mandatory annual report with the Florida Department of State for two years.

Big banks set to earn hundreds of millions from PPP loan fees

“David is a legitimate business owner who, like millions of Americans, has suffered financially during the pandemic,” Hines’ attorney Chad Piotrowski told CNN in a statement. “While the allegations seem very serious, especially in light of the pandemic, David is eager to tell his side of the story when the time comes.”

If convicted, Hines faces up to $1,000,000 in fines and up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud; fines of up to $1,000,000 and up to 30 years in prison for making a false statement to a credit institution; and a prison term of up to ten years for participating in transactions for illegal purposes.

Small businesses say time and money are running out fast
Last week, CNN affiliate WSVN says they were recording when Hines was fined $100 for not wearing a mask in Miami.
During an interview with Hines, he complained to WSVN that the majority of PPP funds went to large corporations.

CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt contributed to this story.

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