Fort Myers, Fla. — U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest and unsealing of a criminal complaint charging Daniel Joseph Tisone (34, Naples) with wire fraud, bank fraud and illegal money transactions. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for each of the fraud charges and up to 10 years in federal prison for the illegal monetary transaction offense.
According to the complaint, between March 2020 and April 2021, Tisone, a convicted felon, submitted false and fraudulent loan applications for Economic Disaster Loans (EIDL), Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at the Small Business Administration, as well as PPP and MSLP Approved Lenders. The loan applications contained numerous false statements, including the criminal history, average monthly payroll, number of employees and gross income of the applicant, Tisone. In support of the fraudulent EIDL, PPP and MSLP claims, Tisone submitted false and fictitious payroll and tax documents, as well as a false commercial lease.
Tisone’s false and fraudulent misrepresentations caused SBA, PPP, and MSLP lenders to approve and fund one MSLP loan, three EIDLs, and five PPP loans, totaling approximately $2,523,954.17. Tisone then illegally used the funds to purchase over $1 million worth of stocks and securities, as well as the purchase of a residence in the Naples, Florida area.
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) is a federal law enacted in March 2020. It is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering from the economic effects resulting from the COVID pandemic. -19. One of the sources of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization of up to $349 billion in small business forgivable loans for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding.
The PPP allows small businesses and other eligible organizations to receive loans with a term of two years and an interest rate of 1%. Businesses must use PPP loan proceeds for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. The PPP allows interest and principal to be waived if the company spends the proceeds of these expenses within a specified time and uses at least a certain percentage of the loan for payroll expenses.
The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to small businesses currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Proceeds from EIDL can be used to cover a wide range of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continued health care benefits, rent, utilities and fixed debt payments. If an applicant also obtains a loan under the PPP, EIDL funds cannot be used for the same purposes as PPP funds.
The MSLP was designed to provide support to small and medium businesses and their employees across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was intended to help businesses that were in good financial health before the pandemic began to maintain operations and payrolls until conditions normalize.
A criminal complaint is only an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR), and the IRS – Criminal Investigation. He is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Trent Reichling and Suzanne Nebesky.