Officials: Florida man lied to get $60,000 in virus loans

FILE - In this April 23, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump's name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio. There were just a few hundred coronavirus cases when Congress first started focusing on emergency spending in early March. By the end of that month, as Congress passed the massive $2.2 trillion Cares Act, cases skyrocketed above 100,000 and deaths climbed past 2,000. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – A South Florida man has been accused of fraudulently obtaining $60,000 in federal coronavirus relief loans.

Judlex Jean Louis, 32, of Lauderhill, was arrested and charged last week with bank fraud, making false statements to a financial institution and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida said in a news release Monday.

Louis received proceeds from three fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans in early June, according to a criminal complaint. Each loan application hid Louis’s identity as the true loan recipient, the complaint said.

Louis had PPP loan money deposited into accounts that he controlled, prosecutors said. Authorities said surveillance cameras caught him withdrawing cash from one of these accounts after the loan money was deposited.

Defense attorney Huda Ajlani Macri declined to comment on the case.

The Paycheck Protection Program represents billions of dollars in forgivable small business loans for Americans struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which became federal law in March.