Couple Pleads Guilty After Pretending To Operate A Farm That Does Not Exist, Asking For Over A Million Dollars In Aid

Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images

Taylor Giles Contributor
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Latoya Stanley and Johnny Philus, of Miami, both pleaded guilty to fraudulently filing loan applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) totaling more than $1.1 million.

The couple was originally charged in August 2020 in a complaint submitted to the Southern District of Florida, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release from Monday. (RELATED: Man Arrested After Illegally Obtaining $8.5 Million In Coronavirus Relief Aid)

Stanley reported on her fraudulent PPP application she employed 18 workers at “Dream Gurl Beauty Supply LLC.” Philus also reported on his application he employed 29 workers at “Elegance Auto Boutique LLC.” However, the couple did not employ anyone at the companies listed in their applications.

On her EIDL application, Stanley claimed to employ five workers and total over $800,000 in annual income from a farm in her yard. Philus’ EIDL application claimed he employed 10 workers and made $400,000 annually at a small residential farm. Both Stanley and Philus did not own the farms or employ workers listed in their EIDL applications.

The PPP was part of the CARES Act passed by Congress to aid small businesses struggling from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

In February, the DOJ convicted a Minnesota man for money laundering conspiracy and fraud, after he created a fake business in order to receive $5 million in PPP loans.