Authorities have arrested high-end Miami real estate broker Daniela Rendon. She is now facing severe prison time for misusing COVID-19 relief money.
According to the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, 31-year-old Daniela Rendon misused funds totaling $381,000 via the Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection. Authorities allege that Rendon squandered the funds on maintaining her lavish lifestyle. Much of the money was blown on a 2021 Bentley Bentayga, an luxurious apartment in Biscayne Bay, cosmetic treatments and a bevy of designer shoes.
She has now been indicted on seven counts of wire fraud and money laundering which, if she is convicted, could result in a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for misusing taxpayer funds.
At her arraignment last week, prosecutors argued that Rendon, the mother of three, was a flight risk to her native Colombia, a claim her attorney disputed. The judge has set her bond at $150,000, and Rendon is now going to fight the charges brought against her. Most of her social media accounts have been deactivated since her arrest.
Rendon is alleged to have submitted fabricated documents – such as false figures of her yearly income, salaries and wages paid to staff, expenses of her business, internal revenue service data and the number of personnel employed – in order to be accepted into the Paycheck Protection Program. Rendon, who describes herself as an “Ultra Luxury” real estate agent on LinkedIn, is accused of submitting false documents to lenders in New Jersey and Idaho. She hired a New Jersey payroll processor to handle the loan funds which she had obtained through her corporate bank account.
The government’s $813 billion COVID-19 relief program was intended to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. Unfortunately, her fraudulent behavior will come back to haunt her.