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Florida man gets 5 years for COVID-19 relief, tax fraud

Posted at 1:58 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 13:58:50-05

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man convicted of fraudulently collecting over $1.3 million in COVID-19 relief funds has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Court records show Johnson Eustache was sentenced Tuesday in Orlando federal court. He pleaded guilty in August to wire fraud and aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.

According to court documents, Eustache submitted 13 different fraudulent from March 2020 to April 2021 seeking more than $2.1 million in pandemic-related emergency benefits.

Prosecutors say Eustache included false statements in the applications regarding criminal history, number of employees and total payroll. Lenders approved eight of the loans.