Florida man acquires $4.4 million in COVID relief, spends money on exotic cars, DOJ says

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COVID relief fraud: How bad is it?

 Florida Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan provides insight on COVID relief fraud and government spending on ‘Kudlow.’

A Miami, Florida, man was charged on Tuesday with fraudulently receiving more than $4 million in COVID relief funds that were allegedly used to purchase luxury cars.

Andre Lorquet, 38, appeared in federal magistrate court in Miami on Tuesday where he was charged with fraudulently obtaining the COVID relief loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Relief Program, and Shuttered Venue Operator Grant.

Department of Justice inscription is seen on the headquarter’s building in Washington, D.C., United States on Oct. 20, 2022. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Lorquet, according to the accusation filed with the courts, sought more than $4.7 million in relief funds by submitting applications in which he falsified his revenue and payroll.

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He also allegedly submitted fraudulent tax forms to the IRS and pretended to be a certified tax preparer.

Lorquet received $4.4 million in COVID relief funds from what the Department of Justice called a fraudulent scheme and allegedly used the money to purchase a Tesla Plaid, Tesla Model S, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Panamera GTS, among other things.

Image of stimulus check for COVID-19 relief. (Getty Images/Archive / Getty Images)

He was charged with four counts of wire fraud, four counts of money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Lorquet faces up to 22 years in prison if convicted.

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Homeland Security Investigations out of the Miami Field Office investigated the case against Lorquet and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Bailyn will prosecute it.

The charges against Lorquet come nearly two months after the South Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office was selected to lead one of three COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force Teams nationally.

At the time of the announcement on Sept. 15, the district had charged 23 COVID relief fraud cases totaling more than $150 million.

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