27 months in prison for Kissimmee man who stole over $1,000,000 in COVID relief funds

A 36-year-old Kissimmee man who pled guilty to stealing over $1,000,000 in COVID-19 relief funds has been sentenced to spend the next 27 months behind bars.

Levelle Joseph Harris was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell for wire fraud. Harris pled guilty on September 21, 2022 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 $1,283,029.81 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.

In addition to prison time, the court has ordered Harris to forfeit $1,283,029.81.

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