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Naples man sentenced to more than seven years for $2.6 million COVID-19 relief fraud scheme

Peter Eimon
Flickr/Creative Commons

A Naples man will head to prison for more than seven years on charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, illegal monetary transactions, and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and was ordered to repay $2.6 million in a scheme related to COVID-19 relief fund fraud.

U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell sentenced Daniel Joseph Tisone, 35, to seven years and three months in federal prison. He plead guilty on August 26, 2022.  

Tisone was also ordered to forfeit the properties, engagement ring, ammunition, and cash seized from bank accounts, as well as to pay restitution in the amount of $2,617,447.17, all traceable proceeds of the offenses.

According to court documents, between March 2020 and April 2021, Tisone, a convicted felon, submitted false and fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Main Street Lending Program (MSLP), and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications to the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as PPP and MSLP approved lenders.

The loan applications contained numerous false representations, including the criminal history, average monthly payroll, number of employees, and gross revenues of the applicant, Tisone.

Daniel Joseph Tisone.JPG

In support of the fraudulent EIDL, PPP, and MSLP applications, Tisone submitted false and fictitious payroll and tax documents, as well as a fake commercial lease. Further, Tisone fraudulently used the means of identification of individuals who purported to work for Tisone’s companies, including their names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, to submit false and fraudulent payroll and payroll tax documents.

Tisone also fraudulently used the means of identification of an individual, including the individual’s name, date of birth, driver license, and Social Security number, to submit a false and fraudulent EIDL application.

Tisone’s false and fraudulent representations caused the SBA, PPP, and MSLP lenders to approve and fund one MSLP, four EIDL, and five PPP loans, resulting in the deposit of approximately $2,617,447 into bank accounts Tisone controlled. Tisone then used the funds for unauthorized purposes and for his own personal enrichment, including the purchase of residences in Naples, stocks and investment securities, a 2019 Tiara 34LS boat, a 4.02 carat engagement ring, and ammunition.

On March 20, 2022, while executing a search warrant at Tisone’s residence, FBI agents discovered more than 800 rounds of assorted .223/5.56 and 9mm caliber ammunition in Tisone’s master bedroom and garage. As a convicted felon, Tisone is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

“Daniel Joseph Tisone seriously abused three federal programs that used taxpayers’ money to aid struggling small businesses through the pandemic, said Brian Miller, the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery. “SIGPR is glad to have played a significant role teaming with other law enforcement agencies and the United States Attorney’s Office to hold Mr. Tisone accountable.”

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