Florida Man Found Guilty in COVID Scam
Fort Lauderdale: A man in South Florida has been sentenced to six years and two months in federal prison for attempting to fraudulently obtain over $4.2 million in COVID-19 relief funds by filing false loan applications. Valesky Barosy, aged 28, was found guilty of five counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, and one count of aggravated identity theft by a jury in December. In addition to the prison time, Barosy must also repay over $2.1 million for the money he actually received.
According to prosecutors, Barosy submitted fraudulent loan applications for himself and his accomplices, using falsified prior-year expenses, net profit, and payroll information, as well as fraudulent IRS tax forms. The scheme resulted in Barosy and his accomplices receiving approximately $2.1 million in loans, which they used to purchase luxury items such as a Lamborghini Huracán EVO, Rolex and Hublot watches, and designer clothing from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel. Barosy posted photos of these purchases on his Instagram account, touting his success as an entrepreneur.
Barosy’s fraudulent loan applications and fabricated tax documents were found on his computer, along with text messages soliciting information from prospective clients. His accomplices paid him a 20-30% kickback for each loan application submitted. The Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable small-business loans to Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, must be used to pay employees, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. It is part of the federal coronavirus relief package that was enacted in 2020.
Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the family of the deceased victim following this COVID scam in Florida.
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