Florida man David T. Hines allegedly scammed almost $4 million from the government’s coronavirus relief loan program and bought a 2020 Lamborghini Huracán worth more than $318,000, authorities said Monday.
A Miami resident, 29-year-old Hines applied in April for $13.5 million from the Paycheck Protection Program, saying he needed the money to pay employees at several different companies, New York Post reported.
Hines said he operated four businesses and had $4 million in monthly expenses, officials said.
The bank approved three of the loans for a total of $3.9 million.
However, “those purported employees either did not exist or earned a fraction of what Hines claimed in his PPP applications,” according to an affidavit.
Hines allegedly bought the Lamborghini within a few days of getting the cash.
Authorities may never have been tipped off if it wasn’t for a hit-and-run incident involving Hines on July 11, The Miami Herald reported. Federal investigators linked the Lamborghini to Hines after the hit-and-run.
Miami police impounded the car and federal prosecutors plan to seize it, according to New York Post.
When the bank froze the Hines company accounts, they showed a balance of $3,463,162 but no repayments on the loans.
Hines was arrested on Friday and charged with three felonies. He was released Monday on $100,000 bond by U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan during his first court appearance.
Charges against Hines include bank fraud, making a false statement to a lending institution and engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds, according to prosecutors in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. If convicted on all three charges, Hines could face up to 70 years in prison, an official in the prosecutor’s office said, according to the New York Times.
In addition to the Lamborghini, Hines spent thousands of dollars on dating websites, hotels in Miami Beach, jewelry and clothes, according to the complaint.
New of Hines’ arrest caused anger and excitement on Twitter, with comments focusing on corruption, “Florida man,” the wisdom of spending the money on a Lamborghini and a debate over whether Hines is a Democrat or Republican.
“Another win for Florida in the Embarrassment Olympics,” KasparFliegand
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“The hidden corruption continues to be revealed each day,” tweeted Bradford Mance @bmance1. “That was honestly a rather stupid investment. People keep forgetting that cars depreciate in value as soon as they are driven off the lot. I would never buy something that expensive at all. It’s not worth it.”
“100s of thousands of small businesses already have gone under this year….making it the very worst year in history for small businesses and Florida is one of the leaders in that department if not the top state for small business bankruptcies….THANKS TRUMP,” tweeted TakeAmericaBack
“It’s always Florida,” Paul Fox tweeted @PaulFox50854324. “The guy is a registered Republican who lives in Coral Gables. FL.”
@OMAKAROCKS blamed the swamp, tweeting, “When the system of elected officials, allow for an already wealthy person to use pandemic money to purchase a Lamborghini, yet feel $600 in weekly unemployment for the struggling is too much…The US system is corrupt. This is what the swamp gives us.”
“didn’t he learn anything from Goodfellas to not buy big ticket items until the heat is off…” @BarEinstein tweeted.