Former Miami-Dade Corrections Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in COVID-19 Relief Funds Scheme

Former Miami-Dade Corrections Sergeant pleads guilty to wire fraud in connection with COVID-19 relief funds scheme. Faces up to 20 years in prison.

In a recent development, former Miami-Dade Corrections Sergeant, Arashio Harris, has pled guilty to wire fraud in connection with fraudulent applications for COVID-19 relief funds. By submitting false and deceptive applications for two Paycheck Protection Program loans and two Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Harris managed to obtain over $294,000 in loan proceeds. However, his illicit actions did not go unnoticed, and he now faces the possibility of a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. The severity of this case serves as a cautionary tale regarding the consequences of exploiting relief programs designed to help businesses during these challenging times. Harris’s sentencing is scheduled for October 27, 2023, serving as a reminder that fraudulent activities will not be tolerated in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

Former Miami-Dade Corrections Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in COVID-19 Relief Funds Scheme

Details of the Case

In a shocking turn of events, former Miami-Dade Corrections Sergeant, Arashio Harris, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with his involvement in a scheme to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 relief funds. The case sheds light on the unfortunate reality that even those in positions of authority can succumb to temptation and engage in illegal activities.

Fraudulent Applications for Relief Funds

Harris’s guilt stems from his submission of false and fraudulent applications for financial assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), both of which were established to provide relief to struggling businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. By misrepresenting the financial health and employee count of his businesses, Harris was able to secure significant funds through deceitful means.

The Businesses Involved

The two businesses that Harris exploited to obtain these illicit funds were The Good Family Property Solutions Inc. and Flying Lions LLC. These companies served as vehicles through which he perpetrated his fraudulent scheme. It is deeply concerning that someone entrusted with protecting society would exploit a crisis for personal gain, potentially depriving genuine businesses in need of much-needed support.

Obtained Loan Proceeds

Through his deceptive actions, Harris managed to obtain over $14,500 in EIDL loan proceeds and approximately $279,551 in PPP loans. These substantial sums of money were secured based on false claims and lies, ultimately diverting resources away from businesses that were legitimately struggling to survive amidst the unprecedented challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.

Potential Sentence for Harris

Wire fraud, the charge to which Harris has pleaded guilty, carries severe penalties. Harris could face a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, reflecting the seriousness of his crime and the impact it has had on the integrity of the relief funds. The sentence will be determined at the scheduled sentencing hearing on October 27, 2023, where the court will consider various factors before reaching a decision.

Details of the Case

Arashio Harris Pleads Guilty

Arashio Harris, a former Miami-Dade Corrections Sergeant, recently admitted his guilt in a case involving wire fraud related to the fraudulent acquisition of COVID-19 relief funds. This revelation shocked the local community, as Harris was once seen as a trusted figure in law enforcement. His guilty plea is a stark reminder that nobody is above the law and that the consequences for engaging in criminal activities will be severe.

Specific Charges of Wire Fraud

Harris’s specific charge of wire fraud revolves around his willful involvement in scheming to obtain monetary benefits through fraudulent means. By knowingly submitting false and misleading information on his applications for relief funds, Harris deliberately manipulated the system to his advantage. This type of fraudulent behavior not only harms the individuals and businesses struggling to survive during these unprecedented times but also undermines the credibility of government support programs.

Connection to COVID-19 Relief Funds

The fraudulent activities in which Harris engaged were directly tied to the COVID-19 relief funds that were made available to assist struggling businesses. These funds aimed to provide financial assistance to entities adversely affected by the pandemic and to ensure their continued operation. However, Harris shamelessly exploited this opportunity for personal gain, misrepresenting the financial health of his businesses to justify his fraudulent applications.

Fraudulent Applications for Relief Funds

Submission of False and Fraudulent Applications

Harris’s unlawful actions revolved around the submission of false and fraudulent applications for relief funds. By misleading government authorities through the provision of dishonest information, Harris deceived officials into believing that his businesses were in dire need of financial assistance. This deliberate act of deception was intended to secure relief funds that were earmarked for businesses genuinely affected by the pandemic.

PPP and EIDL Loans

The two types of relief funds that Harris fraudulently applied for were PPP loans and EIDL loans. The Paycheck Protection Program, administered by the Small Business Administration, aimed to provide financial support to businesses in need, specifically for payroll and operational expenses. Similarly, the Economic Injury Disaster Loans sought to provide businesses with low-interest loans to aid in overcoming the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. Harris’s deceptive actions not only diverted funds away from deserving businesses but also undermined the integrity of these programs.

Purpose of Relief Funds

The purpose of the relief funds made available by the government was to alleviate the financial strain experienced by struggling businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds were designed to provide a lifeline to businesses that were grappling with reduced revenues, layoffs, and operational challenges. However, Harris betrayed the spirit of these relief efforts by fraudulently obtaining funds that were intended for businesses genuinely in need.

The Businesses Involved

The Good Family Property Solutions Inc.

One of the businesses through which Harris exploited the relief funds was The Good Family Property Solutions Inc. This company, which presumably carried out activities related to property solutions, became a front for his fraudulent scheme. By falsely representing the financial health and employee count of this entity, Harris managed to deceive authorities and wrongfully secure relief funds.

Flying Lions LLC

Flying Lions LLC was another business that Harris leveraged for his fraudulent activities. The nature of this company’s operations remains unclear, but it too served as a vehicle for Harris’s deceptive actions. Through this entity, he falsified information to substantiate his fraudulent applications, ultimately leading to the misallocation of resources that should have supported legitimate struggling businesses.

Ownership and Control of the Businesses

Harris maintained ownership and control over both The Good Family Property Solutions Inc. and Flying Lions LLC. As the sole proprietor of these businesses, he exercised complete authority over their management and financial affairs. This level of control made it easier for Harris to manipulate the financial information presented on the relief fund applications, perpetuating his illegal activities.

Obtained Loan Proceeds

Amount of EIDL Loan Proceeds

Through his fraudulent actions, Harris managed to obtain over $14,500 in Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) proceeds. These funds, which were intended to support businesses severely impacted by the pandemic, were secured without any legitimate justification. By providing false financial information, Harris deceived the government into disbursing these substantial funds that should have gone to deserving businesses in genuine need.

Amount of PPP Loans

Harris’s fraudulent scheme was not limited to the EIDL loan proceeds. He also obtained approximately $279,551 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through deceitful means. These loans, which were intended to support businesses in covering payroll and operational expenses, were diverted to Harris’s personal gain. This substantial sum of fraudulent funds further highlights the audacity and extent of Harris’s unlawful activities.

Potential Sentence for Harris

Maximum Sentence for Wire Fraud

Wire fraud, the charge to which Harris has pleaded guilty, carries severe penalties under federal law. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the offense, a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison can be imposed. The gravity of Harris’s crime, his deliberate manipulations, and the significant amount of funds involved all contribute to the potential for a substantial sentence if found guilty.

Schedule for Sentencing

Arashio Harris is scheduled for sentencing on October 27, 2023. The court will carefully consider various factors, including the extent of Harris’s fraudulent activities, the amount of funds obtained, and the impact on legitimate businesses in need. The sentencing hearing will provide an opportunity for both the defense and prosecution to present their arguments, paving the way for the court’s determination of an appropriate punishment that reflects the severity of Harris’s crimes.