- July 30, 2022
What do a 2019 Tiara 34LS boat and a 4.02 carat solitaire engagement ring have in common?
Those high-end items are both wanted by the federal government.
Daniel Joseph Tisone, charged with criminally defrauding the U.S. government out of $2.62 million in COVID relief funds, allegedly spent that money on those personal luxuries and more.
As part of a pending guilty plea agreement, prosecutors have also asked for the return of the boat and ring, as well as two properties Tisone purchased in Naples, assorted ammunition, the $2.62 million traced to the offenses and more than $65,000 seized from two bank accounts. Counts Tisone was charged with, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, include wire fraud, bank fraud, illegal monetary transactions and possession of ammunition by an ex-convict. He faces up to 30 years in federal prison for both counts of wire fraud and bank fraud and up to 10 years for both counts of illegal monetary transactions and possession of ammunition.
Read more: St. Petersburg man defrauds government out of nearly $800K, invests in stocks
The potential guilty plea has gone through several iterations. Tisone initially entered a not guilty plea, a somewhat common defense strategy in the early stages of a criminal case, while attorneys examine evidence. But in a July 22 email, in an answer to questions from the Business Observer, Fort Lauderdale attorney Mark Eiglarsh, representing Tisone, says his client will change his plea.
"The plea agreement that was filed evidences my client’s intent to plead guilty to a few of the charges and accept full responsibility for what he did," Eiglarsh adds.
Court documents show Tisone is scheduled to plead guilty July 29. But the documents show he's trying to get that date changed due to a surgery Tisone has scheduled. A judge has yet to accept the agreement, according to court records.
Tisone, arrested in late March, was able to obtain the funds through fraudulent loan applications he submitted to the SBA and approved lenders for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, Main Street Lending Program and PPP loans, officials alleged.
According to the criminal complaint signed by the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation, Tisone moved to Collier County around February 2018. By the time of the move, the agreement states, Tisone had incorporated six businesses in Delaware and Virginia — TEC Ventures LLC, Rub a Dub LLC, Rub a Dub Holdings Inc., Rub a Dub Atlantic LLC, Rub a Dub Eco Wash LLC and Rub a Dub Marines LLC.
Read more: Prosecutors and investigators in Florida take on COVID fraud