A South Florida man has been sentenced to six years and two months in federal prison for attempting to obtain more than $4.2 million in COVID-19 relief funds by filing false loan applications. Valesky Barosy, 28, was convicted by a jury in December of five counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft. According to an indictment, Barosy submitted fraudulent loan applications on behalf of himself and his accomplices, seeking more than $4.2 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Barosy falsified the applicant’s prior-year expenses, net profit, and payroll, and submitted fraudulent IRS tax forms. Investigators said he and his accomplices received approximately $2.1 million in loans from the fraudulent scheme, and Barosy was paid a 20-30% kickback which he used to purchase a Lamborghini Huracán EVO, Rolex and Hublot watches, and designer clothing from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel.
In addition to the prison time, Barosy must also repay more than $2.1 million for the money he actually received. The Paycheck Protection Program was established as part of the coronavirus relief package in 2020 and provides forgivable small-business loans to Americans struggling because of the pandemic. The money must be used to pay employees, mortgage interest, rent and utilities.