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Fort Myers couple arrested for $2 million COVID fraud


  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 12:45 p.m. June 16, 2023
  • | Updated 4:55 p.m. June 16, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Roger B. Handberg, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, has focused on PPP loan fraud cases.
Roger B. Handberg, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, has focused on PPP loan fraud cases.
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A Fort Myers couple has been arrested and charged with stealing more than $2 million in COVID relief funds.

Timothy Craig Jolloff, 46, and Lisa Ann Jolloff, 56, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of illegal monetary transactions. Timothy Jolloff was also charged with one count of wire fraud.

The couple turned themselves in Friday morning and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kyle Dudek at 2 p.m. The judge released them they each on $50,000 unsecured bonds, restricted their travels to South, Southwest and Central Florida as well as the state of Indiana. Both were ordered to forfeit their passports.

If convicted, the Jolloffs each faces 10 years in prison for the charges, with Timothy facing an additional 20 years for the wire fraud count.

According to the office of Roger B. Handberg, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, and a copy of the criminal complaint here is what is alleged:

Between April and May 2020, Timothy Jolloff submitted fraudulent loan applications to the Small Business Administration and an approved lender in an effort to get Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program relief funds created to help companies during the pandemic.

The couple was splitting their time between Indiana and Fort Myers when this occurred.

Jolloff wrote in the loan applications that the proceeds would be used as working capital and to “retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments and utility payments” for 11 companies he owned.

According to the criminal complaint, those companies “provided package delivery services for Federal Express Ground Package System, Inc. as independent service providers in Indiana and Florida.”

But authorities later learned that starting in 2019 and before he filed the loan applications, FedEX had begun terminating the contracts which led to a “complete loss of revenue.”   

Due to the alleged falsehoods, the SBA and PPP lender approved and funded 11 EIDLs and six PPP loans totaling about $2.14 million.

The couple then used the funds to buy three pontoon boats totaling more than $300,000; real estate in Indiana; home furnishings; outdoor kitchens; and a 2020 Polaris UTV, as well as jewelry and two dogs.

On May 19, 2020, Lisa Jolloff  wrote a check for $56,355.66 to Sam Galloway Ford in Fort Myers for a 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali pickup truck. The truck was for a person identified as K.S. and from an account she had never previously used.

Two weeks earlier, Timothy Jolloff wrote two $25,000 checks for each of his minor children. In a subsequent bankruptcy filing in 2022, he said the money was for college tuition.

The couple also used more than $ $330,079.65 in funds to purchase the Sanborn's Sofas Plus Furniture Co., a furniture store, and its commercial property on Muamee Street in Angola, Indiana.

They also bought New Leaf Landscape Management, a Landscape company, in Sarasota. They wired a $10,000 deposit for the company to Naples attorney Sept. 9, 2020. Less than a month later, on October 5, they wired the attorney an additional $325,724.61 followed two days later by $9,860.78.

All the money for the business, according to the criminal complaint submitted by the U.S. Secret Service agent who investigated the case, came from EIDL funds.

"Of note," the agent wrote in the complaint, none of Jolloff's companies that received EIDLs were in the landscaping or lawn maintenance industry."

 

author

Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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