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The South Florida attorney is serving a more than three-year sentence for stealing $1.6 million from the CARES Act

The South Florida attorney is serving a more than three-year sentence for stealing $1.6 million from the CARES Act

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A Palm Beach Gardens attorney has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison after pleading guilty in October to stealing $1.6 million in federally-backed loans.

Acree, 47, admitted his guilt in conspiring to wire fraud in October. Acree allegedly filed false applications for more than $1.6 million in paycheck protection loans and economic injury disaster loans between March 2020 and August 2020 with the goal of helping small businesses survive the COVID-19 epidemic.

On September 4, Derek James Acree was sentenced by US Judge Raag Singhal to 41 months in prison, US$1.26 million in damages and US$1.6 million in confiscation.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, provided loans insured by the Small Business Administration.

According to prosecutors, Acree applied for loans that did not have to be repaid provided they were used to sustain businesses. According to court documents, he, along with an unknown accomplice, filed the applications for companies with offices in Delaware that he wholly or partially owned. The applications contained false information about the companies’ gross turnover, wage costs and number of employees.

It added that since the passage of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus measure in March 2020, it has filed 80 cases and recovered nearly $23.5 million in stolen funds through October. The office was selected by federal officials last fall to lead one of three COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force teams in the country.

After receiving the fraudulent loan proceeds, Acree transferred some of the money to others and spent some of it on jewelry, vacations, home repairs, a boat, and other things. He even used part of it to pay a down payment on a house.

After being accused of selling unregistered securities along with a business partner and his Cayman Islands-based company, Acree agreed to repay $12.8 million in 2021 and pay a $125,000 fine.

Regulators alleged that the company, Acree, and former West Palm Beach resident Gregory Keough sold $30 million worth of unregistered securities and misled buyers. Acree and Keough agreed to pay the fine and return the investors’ money without an admission of guilt.

Summary of the news:

The South Florida attorney is serving more than three years in prison for stealing $1.6 million from the CARES Act. Check all the news and articles from the latest business news updates.

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