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A Florida male who fled the U.S. and was ultimately arrested in Croatia has pleaded responsible to thieving extra than $7.2 million in COVID-19 aid resources.
Don V. Cisternino, 46, of Chuluota, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Orlando federal court to wire fraud, aggravated identification theft and unlawful financial transaction, in accordance to court docket paperwork. His hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5 exactly where could experience up to 32 yrs in federal jail. As part of a offer with prosecutors, Cisternino has already agreed to forfeit the revenue from the fraud, as effectively as any belongings related to the crimes.
According to the plea settlement, Cisternino fraudulently secured much more than $7.2 million in crisis cash by way of a Paycheck Security Software personal loan in May possibly 2020. Cisternino’s PPP financial loan application falsely claimed that his company, MagnifiCo, had 441 workers and month-to-month payroll expenditures in 2019 of far more than $2.8 million. The enterprise truly had no staff members other than Cisternino. Together with his loan application, Cisternino submitted fake W-2s, numerous of which stated the names and Social Security quantities of real folks who had not approved him to use their identities. After acquiring the money, Cisternino put in it on a Lincoln Navigator, a Maserati, a Mercedes-Benz and a 12,579 sq.-foot home in Seminole County, Florida.
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Cisternino fled to Switzerland just after discovering he was remaining investigated for fraud in January 2021, officers claimed. He was arrested in April that calendar year pursuant to an Interpol Crimson Detect though hoping to enter Croatia from Slovenia by way of Italy. He was afterwards extradited to the United States.
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The Paycheck Safety Software entails billions of dollars in forgivable little-company financial loans for People in america struggling mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The dollars ought to be applied to shell out employees, house loan curiosity, lease and utilities. It truly is portion of the coronavirus reduction package that turned federal regulation in 2020.