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Florida man gets 6 month sentence for COVID relief fraud

MIAMI – A Florida man has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for lying to get a low-interest COVID-19 relief loan.

Willie Curry, 58, was sentenced Wednesday in Miami federal court, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in August to wire fraud in connection with his fraudulent application to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

According to a plea agreement, Curry applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan with the SBA in June 2020. He falsely claimed that Will Curry Computers was established in 2015 and had annual gross revenues of approximately $755,416, a cost of goods sold of approximately $170,664, and 10 employees. Prosecutors said Curry actually established the business in 2020, and it had minimal revenues or costs of goods sold and no employees.

Curry actually worked full-time as a network manager for Miami-Dade County and suffered no loss of salary from the COVID-19 pandemic, investigator said.

Based on the Curry's fraudulent application, the SBA disbursed a $10,000 advance and then $150,000 in loan proceeds to Curry’s listed financial institution, which later returned the money to the SBA.

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Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.