Kissimmee man guilty of stealing over $1,000,000 in COVID relief funds

A 36-year-old Kissimmee man has pled guilty to stealing over $1,000,000 in COVID-19 relief funds.

Levelle Joseph Harris has pled guilty to 14 counts of wire fraud for applying for and receiving 14 Paycheck Protection Program loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

According to court records, Harris used false information to apply for the loans between May 27, 2020, and June 2, 2021. Harris allegedly made false representations on his PPP applications and electronically submitted the applications over the internet. The fraudulent loans were approved, and Harris received more than $1 million in internet wire transfers.

Those wire transfers were supposed to be used to cover payroll, debts, utilities, rent/mortgage, accounts payable, and other bills. According to court records, Harris used the money for his personal expenses instead.

Harris faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the 14 counts of wire fraud, as well as a $250,000 fine.

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