By Kevin Deutsch
A Coral Springs man was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in federal prison for seeking nearly $2 million in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans, prosecutors said.
Luke Joselin, 36, along with co-conspirators Judlex Jean Louis and Renaldo Harrison, flooded online loan processors with multiple fraudulent PPP loan applications following passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, according to the Department of Justice.
They used increasingly brazen tactics and sought more and more money as the scheme progressed, according to evidence presented during a three-day trial in August 2022.
Joselin first applied for and received a PPP loan of about $27,000 for his non-existent sole proprietorship, using a fake social security number and fake tax documents, prosecutors said.
After he coached Harrison and Jean Louis on how to do the same, the two applied for several more similarly sized PPP loans in the names of people whose identities they had stolen, according to DOJ.
After obtaining smaller PPP loans, Joselin, Harrison, and Jean Louis began submitting PPP loan applications worth around $180,000 for companies they controlled, prosecutors said.
These applications were typically for companies that had no real operations and were supported by fake tax forms, including one form that Joselin, Harrison, and Jean Louis recycled on multiple applications, changing only the company name, according to the government.
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 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.
- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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