Cape Coral Man Gets 2-Year Prison Sentence for COVID Relief Fraud

Another Floridian convicted of Payroll Protection Plan COVID Relief has been sentenced to prison. Five months after Denis Casseus of Cape Coral pled guilty to two years in federal prison for bank fraud and an illegal monetary transaction related to COVID Relief, U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber sentenced him to two years in prison.

As part of Casseus’ sentence, the court also entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $298,875, the proceeds of the bank fraud. 

According to court documents, between February 22 and March 4, 2021, Casseus submitted two fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications to a financial institution federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) with branches in Lee County. In each application, Casseus falsely represented that the PPP funds would be used only for business-related purposes, as specified in the loan applications. Casseus falsely represented and certified that the PPP funds acquired from the requested loans would be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage payments, lease payments, and utility payments on behalf of his purported businesses. In total, Casseus’s false and fraudulent representations caused the financial institution to approve and fund a total of $298,875 in PPP loans for his businesses. 

On March 4, 2021, Casseus made a wire payment of $110,000 to a title company for the purchase of a residence in Cape Coral. That money was an illegal monetary transaction as Casseus used more than $10,000 in the PPP loan funds towards the purchase of his residence.   

In March of 2020 The Payroll Protection Coronavirus Aid was a program created by the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who were suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.