An ‘Ultra-Luxury’ real estate broker and influencer has been accused of gaining COVID-19 relief funds by fraudulent means to fund her lavish lifestyle.
Daniela Rendon, 31, has been indicted by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, which alleges that she obtained over $381,000 of COVID-19 relief funds and grants by falsifying business documents.
The Miami-based influencer’s Instagram, now set to private, appears to show off her expensive lifestyle, featuring private yachts, private jets and tropical vacations.
Federal officials accuse her of splashing the extra cash on extravagant expenses including leasing a 2021 Bentley Bentaya, renting a luxury apartment in Biscayne Bay, cosmetic surgery and refinishing designer shoes.
According to Rendon’s now-deleted LinkedIn, she described herself as an “Ultra-luxry real estate agent with a demonstrated history of working in the ultra-luxury high-end real estate industry.”
Rendon reportedly received the money through the Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was supposed to be used to keep employees afloat during the pandemic.
According to reports, she falsified her revenue, payroll, costs, tax information and employee count, submitting the reports to lenders in New Jersey and Idaho before funneling the money into her personal account and to the accounts of family and friends using fake checks.
The judge has set a bond of $150,000 after the mother of three was considered a potential flight risk back to her native Colombia, although her attorney has denied she was a flight risk according to the Miami Herald.
Rendon has been charged with seven counts of wire fraud, two counts of money-laundering and one count of aggravated identify theft. If convicted, she could face 20 years in prison.
The real estate broker is not the only person accused of misusing COVID-19 relief funds—in December, a pastor from Florida and his son were arrested for buying a $3.7 million mansion on Disney World property with PPP money meant for their church.
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