Feb. 06, 2023 (Staff Writer)- A Miami real estate agent was charged with fraud and money laundering linked to $381,000 in Covid-19 relief funds through the Paycheck Protection Program that she allegedly used to pay for a Bentley, cosmetic procedures, and a luxury apartment.
Daniela Rendon, a real estate agent with Prestige Empire Realty, has been active in Sunny Isles Beach, posting on social media about or working on projects that include Estates at Acqualina and Mansions at Acqualina, and Bentley Residences. She was also part of the 57 Ocean sales team in Miami Beach. Rendon’s deals include the $35,500 monthly rental of a unit at Mansions at Acqualina, according to a Traded post from 2021.
Rendon allegedly submitted fraudulent applications for Covid-19 federal relief funds to the Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection Program by falsifying her revenue, payroll and IRS tax forms, according to a press release and the complaint from the United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida.
She allegedly used the money to lease a 2021 Bentley Bentayga, which she highlighted on her Instagram account. She has more than 33,000 followers on the social media platform, where she posts about her luxurious lifestyle. She also allegedly used the funds for her Biscayne Bay apartment rental, dermatology procedures and on designer shoes.
Rendon was indicted on two counts of money laundering, seven counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, court records show. If she’s convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison.
The alleged fraud took place between April 2020 and April 2022, according to the complaint prepared by U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Bailyn.
Rendon, through companies called Rendon PA and Rendon Holdings, allegedly submitted fake information regarding the number of employees, monthly payroll, gross revenue, and cost of goods sold to obtain two loans: a $317,290 PPP loan and a $10,000 SBA loan. She enrolled in ADP payroll to funnel the cash to her companies, friends, and family, according to the complaint.
That included two wire transfers in 2020 and 2021 to Miami ENT LLC for nearly $75,000, combined. The company is managed by Andre Lorquet, who the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida indicted on similar charges last year for allegedly submitting fraudulent applications seeking nearly $5 million in pandemic relief funds.
So what will our government do? Spend more money on a 2 year trial, put the person in jail overnight and say don’t do that again! (Snicker, Snicker!)
She should loose her license for life, put in jail for 3-7 years and required to pay complete restitution. I know she won’t find as easy a way to steal and repay and probably never will, but the judgement should follow her the rest of her for life. People are dishonest and she shames this profession.
JD you are so right. There are crooks in every business and this was flagrant. I just think she needs more than 3-7 years in jail. I’m a 40+ years realtor and have loved helping people, but sure am not rich and famous.
I believe, at least in Ohio, you would not be able to obtain your real estate license again with these types of charges. Realtors are held to pretty high and strict standards and The Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing doesn’t mess around with shenanigans like this, or anything much past a traffic ticket. She deserves the maximum punishment.
I fully agree with JD
A Realtor here in Richmond, VA is now in jail for 41 months for stealing 1.1M from the PPP program. I am sure more of these types of fraud cases are in the pipeline and are being investigated. He lost his license, rightfully so.