Florida businessman accused of using COVID relief funds to buy $689k boat

Florida

FT. MYERS, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida business owner spent almost half of his $2 million COVID-19 relief funds on a brand new boat, according to a release by the Department of Justice Wednesday.

According to the Department of Justice and US Attorney Maria Lopez, Fort Myers resident Casey Crowther, 35, sought and received more than $2 million in a Payroll Protection Program loan from the government on behalf of his company, Target Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc.

According to the complaint, the loan application included false statements about what the PPP funds would be used for; i.e. retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage payments, etc.

Additionally, within just days of receiving the PP funds, the complaint says Crowther bought a 2020 40-foot catamaran boat for about $689,417.

PPP funding is one source of relief provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted on March 29. The act authorized up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. Congress approved an additional $300 billion toward PPP in April.

The case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service.

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