Miami real estate influencer, Daniela Rendon, busted for buying Bentley & cosmetic surgery with $381,000 in COVID relief funds KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Miami real estate influencer, Daniela Rendon, busted for buying Bentley & cosmetic surgery with $381,000 in COVID relief funds

Miami real estate influencer busted for buying Bentley & cosmetic surgery with $381,000 in COVID relief funds.

A glamorous Miami real estate broker is facing federal fraud raps after authorities said she used COVID-19 relief funds on a new Bentley, cosmetic procedures and a luxury apartment.

Daniela Rendon, 31, received $381,000 through the Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection Program, according to the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

But instead of using the government cash to keep legitimate employees afloat amid the pandemic, Rendon allegedly dispersed the fake payroll funds to friends and family for personal gain.

Rendon blew much of the windfall to lease a 2021 Bentley Bentayga, rent a posh Biscayne Bay apartment and pay for cosmetic work, federal officials said.

She also routed some of the taxpayer monies to refurbish a pair of designer shoes.

Rendon now faces seven counts of wire fraud and money laundering raps that could land her in prison for up to 20 years.

Prosecutors argued at her arraignment last week that she was a flight risk to her native Colombia, a claim her attorney denied, according to the Miami Herald.

A judge set her bond at $150,000, and the mother of three will now fight the charges against her.

As part of the scheme, Rendon allegedly falsified documents related to her real estate business in order to qualify for the PPP money — including her annual revenue, payroll, costs of products, IRS tax info and number of employees. She submitted the fabricated reports to lenders in New Jersey and Idaho, the Miami Herald reported. She arranged for a New Jersey payroll processor to process the loans she received through her corporate bank account and issued the checks to family and friends, according to Miami Herald. 

Rendon is not the first person to misuse the COVID-19 loan program meant to help small businesses struggling to survive during the pandemic. The $813 billion government relief program was frequently misused by fraudsters who pocketed the cash. A Florida pastor and his son were arrested in December for using funds from a PPP loan meant for their church to buy a luxury $3.7 million mansion on Disney World property.

She allegedly used the money to lease a 2021 Bentley Bentayga, which she highlighted on her Instagram account. She has more than 33,000 followers on the social media platform, where she posts about her luxurious lifestyle. This year’s model of the Bentley SUV costs upwards of $3,000 a month to lease, depending on the length of the lease and mileage, according to car dealers’ websites.

She also allegedly used the funds for her Biscayne Bay apartment rental, dermatology procedures and to refinish her designer shoes.

Rendon was indicted on two counts of money laundering, seven counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, court records show. If she’s convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison.

The alleged fraud took place between April 2020 and April 2022, according to the complaint prepared by U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Bailyn.

Rendon, through companies called Rendon PA and Rendon Holdings, allegedly submitted fake information regarding the number of employees, monthly payroll, gross revenue and cost of goods sold to obtain two loans: a $317,290 PPP loan and a $10,000 SBA loan. She enrolled in ADP to funnel the cash to her companies, friends and family, according to the complaint.

That included two wire transfers in 2020 and 2021 to Miami ENT LLC for nearly $75,000, combined. The company is managed by Andre Lorquet, who the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida indicted on similar charges last year for allegedly submitting fraudulent applications seeking nearly $5 million in pandemic relief funds.

South Florida, often referred to as the country’s fraud capital, has seen its fair share of PPP-related fraud cases, with many of the alleged perpetrators using the federal funds to buy luxury cars, homes and other pricey items.

Last summer, Bal Harbour-based developer Eric Sheppard was indicted on a felony count of wire fraud for allegedly submitting “false and fraudulent” applications to obtain Covid-19 financial assistance loans on behalf of six companies he managed in four states, including three based in Bal Harbour. The government alleged he stole neatly $900,000 in PPP funds.

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