What to Do if Accused of COVID Relief Fraud in Fort Myers
COVID fraud is fast becoming the most common white collar crime in the United States, with hundreds of new criminal cases announced by the Justice Department each month. Almost every jurisdiction across the nation has open cases regarding these alleged crimes – including Fort Myers. If you have been accused of COVID relief fraud, you might be wondering what to do next.
Fort Myers Man Pleads Guilty to COVID Fraud
On December 14th, the Justice Department announced that yet another defendant had pleaded guilty to charges related to COVID fraud in Florida. This time, a defendant from Fort Myers pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a scheme worth $1.35 million. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Not only did this individual amass a sum of over $1.35 million, but he also apparently acquired six different real estate properties. Like so many others, the defendant filed an Economic Injury Disaster Loan application to the Small Business Administration during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. However, he filed a total of ten applications instead of just one. The funds were immediately distributed by the SBA, and it was only three years later that they realized all ten applications were completely fraudulent.
What Should I Do if Accused of Fraud in Florida?
The first thing you should do when accused of virtually any crime is to exercise your right to remain silent. Trying to explain a complicated financial issue to the police might cause you to incriminate yourself unwittingly. In addition, everything you say will be recorded, and prosecutors will almost certainly attempt to use it against you in court. Remember, your decision to remain silent cannot be interpreted as a sign of guilt.
The next thing you should do is speak with an attorney at your earliest convenience. Remember, law enforcement must allow you to meet with your attorney, and you can refuse to provide them with any statements until you have this meeting. Once you discuss your situation in more detail with your lawyer, you can carefully communicate with the police under watchful guidance from a legal professional.
From there, you might need to consider a range of different strategies based on your unique situation. If you believe that you have been falsely accused, your lawyer may help you collect important evidence. If you accept some wrongdoing, your lawyer can help you negotiate for a lighter sentence with prosecutors. The main thing is to speak with your lawyer as soon as possible.
Find a Qualified White Collar Crime Defense Lawyer in Fort Myers
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Myers, look no further than the Foley & Wilson Law Firm. Over the years, we have defended numerous defendants accused of white collar crime – including fraud. While the Justice Department is certainly cracking down on COVID fraud, penalties are far from guaranteed. Book a consultation today to get started with an appropriate defense strategy.