Valesky Barosy, a man from Miami, has been found guilty of nine counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft after going to trial for stealing federal funds from a COVID-19 relief program. Barosy now faces a potential sentence of 20 years or more in prison at his sentencing on February 23, 2022.
Barosy showed off his lavish lifestyle on social media but was actually fraudulently obtaining $2.1 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program to buy luxury items like a Lamborghini, designer clothing, and watches, according to Jay Weaver.
South Florida has led the financial crime wave following the passage of the CARES Act. Other cases in the area include a businessman using PPP funds to buy a Lamborghini, a nurse using funds to pay a Mercedes-Benz lease and child support, and a couple claiming to be farmers to qualify for $1 million in relief benefits.
Around the same time that Barosy was arrested, two Florida men pleaded guilty to arranging over $35 million in PPP loans. The ring also led to the conviction of former NFL player Joshua Bellamy, who was sentenced to more than three years in prison for wire-fraud conspiracy.
According to an indictment, Barosy fabricated expenses, net profit, and payroll to secure the PPP loans. He used the funds to buy a Lamborghini, watches, and designer clothing, and often posed with the Lamborghini on Instagram, presenting himself as an inspiring mentor. Barosy is the president of a company called VBarosySolutions Inc. or VBS.
The PPP was approved by Congress in 2020 to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provided a way for borrowers to have their loans forgiven if they met the requirements set by the Small Business Administration.