Florida Man Sentenced to 84 Months in Federal Prison for Defrauding Paycheck Protection Program
MIAMI – Luke Joselin, 36, of Coral Springs, Fla., was sentenced today to 84 months in federal prison for seeking nearly $2 million in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
According to the evidence presented during a three-day trial in August 2022, Joselin and his co-conspirators, Judlex Jean Louis and Renaldo Harrison, flooded online loan processors with multiple fraudulent PPP loan applications. They used increasingly brazen tactics and sought more and more money as the scheme progressed.
Joselin first applied for and received a PPP loan of about $27,000 for his nonexistent sole proprietorship. He used a fake social security number and fake tax documents. He then coached Harrison and Jean Louis on how to do the same. Joselin and Jean Louis then applied for several more similarly sized PPP loans in the names of people whose identities they had stolen.
After obtaining these smaller-dollar PPP loans, Joselin, Harrison, and Jean Louis began submitting PPP loan applications worth around $180,000 for companies they controlled. These larger-dollar applications were typically for companies that had no real operations and also were supported by fake tax forms, including one form that Joselin, Harrison, and Jean Louis recycled in multiple applications, changing only the company name.
Following trial, a federal jury convicted Joselin of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, nine counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. In addition to the prison term, a federal judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida also ordered Joselin to serve three years of supervised release and pay $812,857 in restitution and $396,477 in asset forfeiture.
Jean Louis and Harrison were charged separately and sentenced in the Southern District of Florida for their roles in the scheme.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Brian Swain, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s (USSS) Miami Field Office; and Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), Miami Office, made the announcement.
USSS and IRS-CI investigated the case, with assistance from the Coral Springs Police Department: Economic Crimes Unit; the Broward County State Attorney’s Office; and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Kiran N. Bhat and Michael B. Homer prosecuted the case. Assistant United States Attorney Raemy Charest-Turken handled asset forfeiture.
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. For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please click here.
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 Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: here.