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    Man pleads guilty to USD2.6M COVID-19 relief fraud

    FORT MYERS, FLORIDA (AP) – A Florida man has pleaded guilty to stealing more than USD2.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

    Daniel Joseph Tisone, 35, of Naples, pleaded guilty on Monday in Fort Myers federal court to wire fraud, bank fraud, illegal monetary transaction and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, court documents show.

    He faces up to 60 years in federal prison at a hearing scheduled for December 5.

    Tisone submitted false and fraudulent applications to the Small Business Administration and banks seeking several different kinds of loans between March 2020 and April 2021, according to the documents, which allege that the applications contained false information about his criminal history, average monthly payroll, number of employees and gross revenues.

    Tisone also submitted false payroll and tax documents, as well as a fake commercial lease, according to the allegations.

    He received one Main Street Lending Programme loan, four Economic Injury Disaster Loans and five Paycheck Protection Programme loans, totalling more than USD2.6 million, authorities said.

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