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Florida Attorney Sentenced For COVID-19 Relief Fraud


A Florida attorney has been sentenced to nearly 3.5 years in prison for defrauding federal COVID-19 relief funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida announced on Wednesday. Derek James Acree pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in October 2022 after submitting fraudulent loan applications in forgivable Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Acree has been ordered to pay $1.26 million in restitution. The case against Acree, like many recent federal cases cracking down on pandemic relief fraud, is the product of the U.S. Attorney General’s COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force and one of the three COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force teams established by the Attorney General’s office in September, operating out of Florida, Maryland and California. 

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