Florida pastor, son arrested for alleged $8 million Covid aid rip-off


A Florida pastor and his son had been arrested, accused of fraudulently acquiring tens of millions the usage of the COVID-19 aid fund.The U.S. Legal professional’s Administrative center tells WESH 2 that Evan Edwards and his son, Josh Edwards, have been arrested Wednesday morning at their house in New Smyrna Seaside. This comes 5 months after an NBC Information file raised questions over why they hadn’t been charged within the alleged rip-off, which federal prosecutors first recognized in court docket papers in December 2020. A video displays the instant the pair have been arrested. Within the video, brokers are noticed pushing Evan Edwards in a wheelchair.As WESH 2 up to now reported, the daddy and son are accused of stealing over $8 million greenbacks from federal COVID-19 aid cash in 2020 by means of putting in a faux ministry in keeping with federal investigators. Final yr, the Justice Division took the cash again. This week, the pair have been arrested and brought to federal court docket in Orlando. The indictment used to be filed closing week, and on Wednesday, it used to be unsealed. The indictment alleges that the daddy and son “submitted a fraudulent PPP mortgage utility” the place they falsely claimed their ministry had “reasonable per month payroll bills” of over $2.7 million and over 480 workers. In fact, in keeping with the government, the ones numbers have been “considerably decrease, or solely nonexistent.”The indictment additionally mentioned that the pair falsely qualified that they might use the cash for approved industry bills when as an alternative they allegedly meant to make use of it in different ways. As an example, investigators mentioned they meant to make use of one of the most cash for a down cost for a $3.5 million mansion in an unique community close to Disney Global. The Edwards each face counts of financial institution fraud, conspiracy to devote financial institution fraud and visa fraud. Josh Edwards could also be charged with creating a false commentary to a lending establishment. Each and every of the ones counts, except for for visa fraud, carries a most jail sentence of 30 years, in keeping with the U.S. Legal professional’s Administrative center.When they have been arrested, Evan and Josh Edwards have been taken to the federal courthouse in Orlando the place they have been scheduled to look earlier than a pass judgement on Wednesday afternoon. However that didn’t move as deliberate.Within the court, Evan Edwards’ public defender advised the pass judgement on he would now not get again into the wheelchair on account of clinical considerations and that he gave the impression to be nonverbal. The pass judgement on ordered the U.S. Marshals to take him to a clinical facility. In the meantime, Josh Edwards did seem earlier than the pass judgement on. However his appointed lawyer additionally advised the pass judgement on that he used to be now not ready to keep up a correspondence with him both. Pass judgement on David Baker attempted to speak without delay to Josh Edwards within the court, by means of asking him questions like, “Are you able to pay attention me?” and “Do you already know what I am pronouncing?” Josh Edwards didn’t reply and as an alternative seemed across the room. The pass judgement on ordered a psychiatric analysis for Josh Edwards. Alternatively, the lawyer for the U.S. govt mentioned Josh Edwards spoke and interacted “simply high-quality” with brokers hours previous. The Edwards circle of relatives confirmed their beef up in court docket however didn’t wish to remark at the allegations. Earlier protection:

A Florida pastor and his son had been arrested, accused of fraudulently acquiring tens of millions the usage of the COVID-19 aid fund.

The U.S. Legal professional’s Administrative center tells WESH 2 that Evan Edwards and his son, Josh Edwards, have been arrested Wednesday morning at their house in New Smyrna Seaside. This comes 5 months after an NBC Information file raised questions over why they hadn’t been charged within the alleged rip-off, which federal prosecutors first recognized in court docket papers in December 2020.

A video displays the instant the pair have been arrested. Within the video, brokers are noticed pushing Evan Edwards in a wheelchair.

As WESH 2 up to now reported, the daddy and son are accused of stealing over $8 million greenbacks from federal COVID-19 aid cash in 2020 by means of putting in a faux ministry in keeping with federal investigators.

Final yr, the Justice Division took the cash again.

This week, the pair have been arrested and brought to federal court docket in Orlando.

The indictment used to be filed closing week, and on Wednesday, it used to be unsealed.

The indictment alleges that the daddy and son “submitted a fraudulent PPP mortgage utility” the place they falsely claimed their ministry had “reasonable per month payroll bills” of over $2.7 million and over 480 workers. In fact, in keeping with the government, the ones numbers have been “considerably decrease, or solely nonexistent.”

The indictment additionally mentioned that the pair falsely qualified that they might use the cash for approved industry bills when as an alternative they allegedly meant to make use of it in different ways. As an example, investigators mentioned they meant to make use of one of the most cash for a down cost for a $3.5 million mansion in an unique community close to Disney Global.

The Edwards each face counts of financial institution fraud, conspiracy to devote financial institution fraud and visa fraud. Josh Edwards could also be charged with creating a false commentary to a lending establishment. Each and every of the ones counts, except for for visa fraud, carries a most jail sentence of 30 years, in keeping with the U.S. Legal professional’s Administrative center.

When they have been arrested, Evan and Josh Edwards have been taken to the federal courthouse in Orlando the place they have been scheduled to look earlier than a pass judgement on Wednesday afternoon. However that didn’t move as deliberate.

Within the court, Evan Edwards’ public defender advised the pass judgement on he would now not get again into the wheelchair on account of clinical considerations and that he gave the impression to be nonverbal. The pass judgement on ordered the U.S. Marshals to take him to a clinical facility.

In the meantime, Josh Edwards did seem earlier than the pass judgement on. However his appointed lawyer additionally advised the pass judgement on that he used to be now not ready to keep up a correspondence with him both.

Pass judgement on David Baker attempted to speak without delay to Josh Edwards within the court, by means of asking him questions like, “Are you able to pay attention me?” and “Do you already know what I am pronouncing?” Josh Edwards didn’t reply and as an alternative seemed across the room. The pass judgement on ordered a psychiatric analysis for Josh Edwards. Alternatively, the lawyer for the U.S. govt mentioned Josh Edwards spoke and interacted “simply high-quality” with brokers hours previous.

The Edwards circle of relatives confirmed their beef up in court docket however didn’t wish to remark at the allegations.

Earlier protection:


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