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Alleged Recipient of Bogus COVID Loan Made Flashy Buys

A 6-figure Mercedes and brand-new pickup were telltale clues for the feds
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2020 10:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – Bold move, Florida man. So say the feds, who accuse a Dade City man of receiving a federal COVID-19 loan under false pretenses and using the money to buy himself a $106,000 Mercedes and a Ford F-250 pickup worth $66,000, reports TampaBay.com. In a release, the Department of Justice says 48-year-old Keith William Nicoletta now faces up to 40 years in prison for the alleged fraud. Nicoletta secured a $1.9 million PPP loan with the false claim that he owned a scrap metal business with nearly 70 employees, according to the DOJ complaint.

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However, state records in Florida suggest no such business exists, given that Nicoletta has not paid any employee wages for about two years now. Nicoletta allegedly moved the rest of the money around his various bank accounts and wired more than $500,000 to a property management company in South Florida. (By contrast, a Minnesota man got $150,000 in PPP cash mistakenly added to his account, but he alerted bank officials.)

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