Federal government dismantles South Florida ‘contractor’ for suspected P3 fraud
Valesky Barosy – at least online – was living the high life in Miami: driving an exotic Lamborghini, posing in a private jet, bragging about having an Instagram account with over 110,000 followers.
His presented himself as a immigrant success story, arrived from Haiti ten years ago, going from a junior job at Walmart to that of “regional vice-president” of a company of repair of credit which would have carried out “3.6 million dollars in sales “.
But in reality, say federal officials, Barosy, 27, and his cronies were ripping off taxpayers, fraudulently obtaining $ 2.1 million in loans to purchase Miami’s status symbols: a Lamborghini Huracán EVO, Rolex and Hublot watches. , and designer clothes. from Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel.
A federal grand jury has now charged Barosy with wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. The indictment was unsealed on Wednesday as Barosy made his first appearance in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.
Barosy is being held in federal custody. His defense attorney did not respond to a call for comment on Wednesday.
The Payroll Protection Program, or PPP, was created in 2020 to help businesses decimated following shutdowns caused by the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The program allowed for loan cancellation if borrowers followed criteria set by the Small Business Administration, or SBA.
As the nation’s fraud capital, South Florida led the wave of financial crime that followed the passage of the CARES Act, according to federal prosecutors.
In South Florida, this included a businessman using PPP money to buy a $ 318,000 Lamborghini, a nurse who allegedly lied about his business to get $ 474,000 which was partially used. to pay for a Mercedes-Benz lease and child support; and a suburban North Miami couple who claimed to be farmers to qualify for $ 1 million in relief benefits.
This month, two Florida men pleaded guilty to helping organize more than $ 35 million in P3 loans. The ring also secured the conviction of former NFL player Joshua Bellamy, who was sentenced to more than three years in prison for conspiracy of wire fraud.
As for Barosy, according to the indictment, he was president of a company known as VBarosySolutions Inc., or VBS.
For various loans, according to the federal government, Barosy simulated the previous year’s expenses, net income and payroll, and submitted fake IRS tax forms to secure the payments, which were then used to purchase the Lambo. , watches and clothing.
He did not hesitate to flaunt his wealth.
On Instagram, he often posed with the White Lambo, posing as a mentor who could inspire – and enrich. “It’s not the Lamborghini or the million dollar house that will inspire the world, but the trials and tribulations that you have overcome,” he said. wrote in one message.
While the details are nebulous, his online biography features Barosy as a “7-figure entrepreneur” with all the buzzwords of 2021: “NFT Creator, Marketing, e-commerce” and vaguely boasts of appearing on ABC, Fox News and “Miami News.”
“How this Haitian entrepreneur went from Walmart to disrupting the multi-million dollar credit repair industry,” a “press release” read.
In addition, he boasts of being part of Financial Education Services Inc. – a company described by the Georgia Attorney General as an “illegal credit repair company” that uses “illegal and deceptive practices in its multi-party marketing structure. levels ”.
The company in 2019 agreed to pay a fine of $ 1.75 million to the State of Georgia for its practices. The company now appears to be called United Wealth Education.
The investigation was led by the US secret service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Bailyn is pursuing the case, while Federal Attorney Nicole Grosnoff will oversee efforts to seize his ill-gotten assets. Barosy faces up to 132 years in prison if convicted.
This story was originally published December 29, 2021 5:44 pm.