A Miami realtor has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison after defrauding the United States government of $381,000 from a COVID-19 emergency fund.
According to the New York Post, Daniela Rendon pleaded guilty last April to one count of wire fraud, after being charged in February with six additional counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of identity theft.
Authorities revealed that she falsified records related to her real estate business, altering her payroll, the number of employees and the cost of products. This allowed him to qualify for the Business Emergency Program and pocket just over $381,000.
This amount especially enabled him to rent a Bentley Bentayga-branded car, rent a luxury apartment, and acquire many other luxury products.
On Thursday, the 31-year-old Colombian woman explained in court that greed motivated her crimes. She allegedly alleged that “everyone was fraudulently obtaining COVID-19 relief loans,” according to the Miami Herald.
Daniela Rendon wrote a 30-page apology. The mother-of-three realized that she had hurt many American companies. Judge Michael Moore considered these elements to justify his reduced sentence. She faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
“It is not easy to see that you have robbed your neighbors, your friends and other citizens,” he said.
In addition to the prison sentences, Daniela Rendon has to repay the federal authorities $198,990.
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