Florida man got $1.9M in coronavirus relief, used it to buy new Mercedes
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida man who received near $2 million in PPP money from the federal government is accused of laundering the money through a phony business and spending it on a brand new Mercedes-Benz and a pick-up truck.
Prosecutors said Keith Nicoletta, 48, was arrested last week on charges of bank fraud and illegal monetary transactions.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Nicoletta filed a loan application falsely claiming he owned a scrap metal business which employed 69 people with monthly wage expenses over $750,000.
After Nicoletta received the money, investigators said he immediately transferred the money to different accounts and withdrew more than $100,000. Another $537,000 was wired to a property management company in Florida.
Additionally, Nicoletta purchased a 2020 Mercedes-Benz for more than $106,000 and a Ford F-250 for more than $66,000. None of the money was used for payroll, prosecutors said.
If convicted, Nicoletta faces up to 40 years in federal prison.