MIAMI – A Florida business owner who received more than $2 million in coronavirus relief funds used about a third of that money to buy a new boat, authorities said.
Casey David Crowther, 35, of Fort Myers, was arrested Wednesday on a federal charge of making a false statement to a lending institution, according to court records. If convicted, Crowther faces up to 30 years in federal prison.
Crowther applied for a loan in April on behalf of his company, Target Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., according to a criminal complaint. Prosecutors said he claimed the funds would only be used for business-related purposes, such as retaining workers and paying bills.
But shortly after receiving the money, Crowther spent $689,417 on a 2020 40-foot catamaran, which he registered in his name, the complaint said.
Court records did not list an attorney for Crowther who could 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.