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Prosecutors: Florida nurse lied to get $420k in virus relief

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Generic money image (Pixabay)

MIAMI – A South Florida nurse fraudulently obtained about $420,000 in coronavirus relief funds, federal prosecutors said.

Giraldo Caraballo, 55, of Miami, made his initial appearance Friday in Miami federal court. He's charged with engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds and making false statements to a financial institution.

Caraballo applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program loan on behalf of his company, Professional Skills Inc., according to a criminal complaint. He claimed the company had 28 employees and an average monthly payroll of $168,000, which investigators said was untrue. The complaint also alleges that Caraballo applied for and received approximately $55,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Instead of using the money for payroll, prosecutors said Caraballo transferred the money to other accounts and used it for personal expenses.

Online court records didn't list a defense attorney who could comment on the case against Caraballo.

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 relief package that became federal law in March.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program provides low-interest financing to small businesses, renters and homeowners in regions affected by declared disasters.

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