Florida neighbors sentenced to over a year in prison each after pleading guilty to $1.1M in COVID fraud
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South Florida neighbors who admitted to conspiring to commit wire fraud by trying to obtain $1.1 million in federal coronavirus relief loans for bogus businesses have each been sentenced to at least a year and a half behind bars in connection with the crimes, the Department of Justice recently announced.
Latoya Stanley, 38, and Johnny Philus, 33, who are neighbors in Miami, were sentenced on Wednesday to 18 and 30 months behind bars, respectively, the Justice Department said in a press release. Each pleaded guilty in March to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
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Stanley and Philus were charged in August 2020 with wire fraud and making false statements, officials said at the time.
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The complaint alleged that Stanley claimed to employ 18 people for a beauty supply business and five for a farm at her Miami home. She claimed to have generated $800,000 in income.
According to prosecutors, Philus claimed to employ 29 people for his car company and another 10 at a farm in his yard. He claimed to have generated $400,000 in income.
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They both live in nearby homes with small yards, officials said. Collectively, they received roughly $1.1 million from the bogus applications.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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