TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Jacksonville man pleaded guilty to wire fraud and illegal monetary transactions after fraudulently applying for Paycheck Protection Program funds in 2020 and 2021, then spending close to $1 million for personal items.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Kenneth Steven Landers, 57, faces up to 30 years in prison after requesting $1.41 million in PPP loans for four businesses he controlled.
Landers’ loan applications were submitted with “false information and documents, including fictitious or altered Internal Revenue Service tax forms,” ending with him approved for close $910,000.
Instead of using that money to pay for employees or expenses approved for PPP use, USAO said Landers paid off mortgages for his home and a business property, then “purchased an 18kt gold Rolex watch, and bought a vintage Jaguar XKE Roadster.”
In addition to buying the luxury car and watch, Landers “also wrote checks to himself,” and used the money to pay off personal debt, transfer funds to personal accounts, and withdraw $113,000 in cash.
Now that he’s pleaded guilty, Landers agreed to forfeit $910,000 plus two pieces of real estate “purchased or funded” with the money received from the PPP loans.