Florida couple charged with over $2 million in COVID-19 relief fraud

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A Southwest Florida couple have been charged with stealing more than $2 million in COVID-19 relief funds and using the money to buy boats, new businesses and other luxury items.

Timothy Craig Jolloff, 46, and Lisa Ann Jolloff, 56, made their first appearances Friday in federal court in Fort Myers on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and illegal monetary transactions, court records show. Timothy Jolloff is also charged with one count of wire fraud.

According to a criminal complaint, Timothy Jolloff in the spring of 2020 submitted to the Small Business Administration, as well as a PPP-licensed lender, false and fraudulent loan applications for Economic Disaster Loans and the Check Protection Program. pay. That caused the SBA and a PPP lender to approve and fund 11 disaster loans and six PPP loans, totaling about $2.14 million, prosecutors said.

The Jolloffs then used the money to buy three pontoon boats, real estate in Indiana, household furniture, outdoor kitchens for their homes, a 2020 Polaris utility vehicle, jewelry and two dogs, investigators said. . The couple also bought a furniture company in Indiana and a landscaping company in Florida, which were unrelated to the businesses the couple secured COVID relief funds for, officials said.

Online court records do not list defense attorneys for the Jolloffs.

The Paycheck Protection Program involves billions of dollars in repayable small business loans for Americans struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The money should be used to pay employees, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. It’s part of the coronavirus relief program that became federal law in 2020.

The Economic Disaster Loan Program is designed to provide economic relief to small businesses experiencing a temporary loss of income. The Main Street Loan Program was designed to provide support to small and medium businesses and their employees across the United States during the pandemic.

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