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Florida woman used pandemic relief loan to pay for an attacker, police say

The Paycheck Protection Program is meant to help businesses meet their wages during the pandemic, but many have faced accusations that they used federal loan money on luxuries like Ferrari car, Lamborghinijewelry and lavish holidays.

Now, authorities in Miami say a woman there went to the other extreme: using part of a $15,000 PPP loan to pay off a beaten man.

The woman, Jasmine Martinez, 33, got the loan on April 20, 2021, two weeks before a man in a black hood shot and killed Le’Shonte Jones as she made her way to the apartment building with her 3-year-old daughter, Miami-Dade Police said in a February 9 arrest warrant. Ms. Martinez had withdrawn money from her bank account totaling more than $10,000 in the days before the incident. murder, police said.

Police arrested Ms. Martinez and Romiel Robinson, a man Ms. Martinez was having an affair with, on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the murder of 24-year-old National Security Bureau employee Jones. Transportation Security at Miami International Airport, following an arrest warrant in the case. Miami Herald reported about the order on Tuesday.

Miami-Dade police also announced last week that they had arrested Javon Carter, a former inmate they believe to be the culprit. Mr. Carter was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder of Ms Jones’ daughter, who was shot in the attack, police said.

Police found a video on Mr Carter’s mobile phone, taken about two hours after Ms Jones was killed, in which he was counting “a large sum of money” and saying, “just one more day at the office” room”, according to the arrest warrant.

Police believe the shooting was the culmination of a protracted antagonism between the two women.

Fallon Zirpoli, an attorney representing Ms. Martinez, said in a statement Tuesday night that Ms. Martinez “has consistently denied any involvement in this tragedy since the first time law enforcement contacted approached her last summer.”

Jonathan Jordan, the attorney representing Mr. Robinson, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. It is not clear if Mr. Carter has an attorney.

Accordingly, police allege, the program for which Ms. Martinez received a loan was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The federal government, eager to get bailouts quickly, has given up much of the testing that traditional lenders do on business loans, but the absence of those standards means to be Fraud is very likely.

One Scientific reports As of August, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin estimated that about 1.8 million of the program’s 11.8 million loans – more than 15% – with a total value of $76 billion had at least one indication of possible fraud. Many people have been arrested and accused of misusing pandemic relief funds.

In July 2020, a man in Florida Federal prosecutors say the recipient of nearly $4 million in federal loans was arrested for bank fraud and other charges after buying a blue Lamborghini for $318,497. In August 2020, a man in Texas Prosecutors say the person who received more than $1.6 million from the same federal program was arrested for bank fraud and other charges after purchasing a 2019 Lamborghini Urus for $233,337.60 .

It is unclear if Ms. Martinez owns a business or how she was able to obtain a PPP loan. Ms. Zirpoli declined to comment on whether Ms. Martinez received a PPP loan, saying she saw no evidence regarding the matter.

The brazen murder of Miss Jones in broad daylight just before she was a toddler has shocked the community.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Ms Jones and her daughter with “multiple gunshot wounds” outside their apartment building. Ms. Jones died at the scene and the child was taken to hospital, police said.

Police said surveillance footage showed the mother and child walking towards their apartment when a man later identified as Mr Carter got out of a gray 2019 Nissan Sentra and started shooting. at them with a semi-automatic pistol, police said.

Police say the murder follows a series of violent acts perpetrated against Ms Jones over the years by Ms. Martinez or those associated with her.

In May 2018, police were investigating an unrelated matter that saw Ms. Martinez run up to Ms. Jones and begin punching her in the face, police said. Miss Martinez has been charged.

While testifying in that case, Ms. Jones was punched and had her cell phone and other belongings stolen while riding in a car from the courtroom, police said. Kelly Nelson, who once dated Martinez, was one of those arrested and charged with armed robbery in that case, police said.

In March, Ms. Jones reported that she was being harassed and offered money to not testify in the robbery, police said. Ms. Martinez sent Ms. Jones a social media message asking her to tell authorities that Mr. Nelson did not have a gun during the robbery, police said.

But Ms. Jones continued to cooperate with prosecutors and talk about the harassment during her removal on April 9, weeks before she was killed.

Mr. Nelson is awaiting trial on charges of armed robbery, according to The Miami Herald.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/16/us/jasmine-martinez-hitman-paycheck-protection-program.html Florida woman used pandemic relief loan to pay for an attacker, police say

Fry Electronics Team

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