US man сonvicted after buying Lamborghini with pandemic funds

The Miami resident also purchased Rolex and Hublot watches, as well as clothing from Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, court files reveal

Valesky Barosy is facing over 20 years in prison after he was convicted of ripping off the US government for $2.1 million in Covid-19 relief loans meant for struggling small businesses. A federal jury found the Haitian immigrant guilty of nine counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft on Monday.

The Miami resident used his ill-gotten gains to purchase a Lamborghini Huracan EVO sports car, luxury watches from Rolex and Hublot, and designer clothing from Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, according to court filings. Unlike some fraudsters, he didn’t hide his scores, instead reportedly showing off his prized possessions to his 110,000 Instagram followers (the account has since been made private).

Court records show he presented himself as an “immigrant success story,” having arrived from Haiti a decade ago and worked his way up from an entry-level position at Walmart to “regional vice president” of an unnamed “credit repair company.” A self-aggrandizing press release written about him in 2019 describes how he supposedly made millions of dollars in his quest to lead Americans out of the darkness of “financial illiteracy” by repairing their credit scores. 

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Shocking scale of Covid relief fraud revealed

However, the indictment against him details how he fabricated expenses, net profit and payroll figures and submitted phony IRS tax forms for his company VBarosySolutions Inc. This was done in order to dupe the Small Business Administration into handing over millions in Paycheck Protection Program loans, which were meant for businesses struggling under Covid-19 economic shutdowns and did not have to be paid back if borrowers met certain conditions.

Barosy, who was arrested in December, was far from the only south Florida local to get caught with his hand in the pandemic cookie jar. James Stote and Phillip Augustin are also facing up to 20 years in prison each after pleading guilty to taking in millions of dollars in exchange for shepherding through fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan applications across the country. 

Some 25 people were charged in connection with the ring, including former NFL player Joshua Bellamy and recording artist Diamond Smith. 

Experts believe as much as 10% of the $800 billion handed out by the PPP went to fraudsters, while tens of billions more were likely stolen from other pandemic relief initiatives.


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