By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida tax preparer is facing federal charges in connection with a scheme to obtain over 100 COVID-19-relief loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Federal authorities say Leonel Rivero, 35, owned a tax-preparation business and submitted approximately 118 fraudulent PPP loan applications on behalf of himself and his accomplices.

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The applications sought more than $2.3 million in PPP loans.

Rivero is accused of falsifying the applicant’s prior-year income, expenses and submitted fraudulent IRS tax forms.

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Federal authorities contend Rivero and his accomplices allegedly received approximately $975,582 in PPP loans as a result of the fraud.

Rivero is scheduled for his initial court appearance on March 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Team