Accused Florida drug traffickers used COVID-19 relief loans to fund cases, police say


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Through Alex Galbraith on Wed Nov 17, 2021 To 11:43 a.m.

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St. Petersburg police said several men recently arrested for drug trafficking used COVID-19 relief loans to fund their businesses.

Authorities in central Florida have arrested more than 30 people in an attack on an alleged drug trafficking operation. Several of the defendants also face fraud charges for taking out SBA loans on non-existent businesses.

“One of the reasons they were able to finance their operation was that they were using these government loans that they had received fraudulently,” Yolanda Fernandez of the St. Petersburg Police Department told WFLA. “And they were receiving substantial sums. Supposedly to help those employees they didn’t have for these businesses they didn’t run. ”

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Reports of the arrests of three of the men claimed that between them they had received nearly $ 50,000 in loans. Say what you want about the legitimacy of their business, but at least it’s about providing goods and services to Floridians. It’s a step beyond Tom Brady and his source of boat finance.

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Tags: Small Business Administration, SBA loans, drugs, St. Petersburg, Florida, Image

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