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Press Release

Broward deputy sheriff and SWAT team member convicted at trial of COVID-19 relief fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – On June 5, a federal jury in Miami convicted a Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) deputy of conspiracy to defraud the Small Business Administration (SBA), two counts of false statements to the SBA, and wire fraud, all in relation to her COVID-19 relief fraud scheme.

In 2021, Alexandra Acosta, 38, of Tamarac, Florida, conspired with her tax preparer, Vilsaint St Louis, to apply for and receive a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for herself as a sole proprietor doing business as a realtor based upon materially false information about her average monthly income in 2019, including two falsified IRS tax forms submitted with the application. Acosta also sought and received forgiveness of the fraudulently obtained PPP loan, which totaled over $20,000 in principal and interest. During the period of the scheme, Acosta was employed as a deputy sheriff in BSO’s Department of Law Enforcement and was the first and only BSO female SWAT team member.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 27, before U.S. Senior District Judge Robert N. Scola.  Acosta faces up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud conviction, 5 years in prison for the conspiracy conviction, and 2 years in prison for each of the false statement convictions. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acosta’s coconspirator, St Louis, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced, on May 14, to one-year of probation, a $5,000 fine, and 100 hours of community service.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Markenzy Lapointe; Special Agent in Charge Brian Tucker, Eastern Region, Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Sheriff Gregory Tony of BSO; and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri, FBI, Miami Field Office made the announcement.

FRB-OIG, BSO, and FBI Miami investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Trevor Jones and Adam Love are prosecuting it. Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Grove is handling asset forfeiture.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit

On September 15, 2022, the Attorney General selected the Southern District of Florida’s U.S. Attorney’s Office to head one of three national COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force Teams. The Department of Justice established the Strike Force to enhance existing efforts to combat and prevent COVID-19 related financial fraud.  The Strike Force combines law enforcement and prosecutorial resources and focuses on large-scale, multistate pandemic relief fraud perpetrated by criminal organizations and transnational actors, as well as those who committed multiple instances of pandemic relief fraud. The Strike Force uses prosecutor-led and data analyst-driven teams to identify and bring to justice those who stole pandemic relief funds. Additional information regarding the Strike Force may be found at

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 23-cr-60170.



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated June 7, 2024

Disaster Fraud