Miami-Dade Police Officer Pleads Guilty to COVID-19 Relief Fund Fraud Scheme

Miami-Dade Police Officer Pleads Guilty to COVID-19 Relief Fund Fraud Scheme

MIAMI, Fla. — A police officer from the Miami-Dade Police Department has pleaded guilty to participating in a fraud scheme related to COVID-19 relief funds.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Samuel Harris, aged 43, pleaded guilty to wire fraud for his involvement in submitting fraudulent applications for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and an EIDL advance. Harris entered his guilty plea in Miami on Monday.

According to the facts presented during the change of plea, Harris, who served as a full-time police officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department, was also the owner and president of a company called Oregen Digital, Inc., known as “Oregen.”

Working with an associate, Harris submitted a false and fraudulent PPP loan application on June 29, 2020, falsely claiming that Oregen had 10 employees and a monthly payroll exceeding $50,000. As a result, Harris obtained a PPP loan of $125,579 from a lender.

The Attorney’s Office stated that Harris also admitted to submitting a false and fraudulent EIDL application on June 30, 2020, in the name of Oregen.

He falsely reported that Oregen had generated gross revenues of over $859,000 and had 10 employees in the twelve months leading up to January 31, 2020.

Consequently, Oregen received a $10,000 EIDL advance that didn’t require repayment and $149,900 in EIDL loan proceeds through this deceitful application.

Overall, Harris received a total of $275,479 in fraudulent loan proceeds.

Harris is set to be sentenced on September 25 at 8:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Scola in Miami. He could face a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Individuals with information regarding attempted fraud related to COVID-19 can report it by contacting the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or by using the NCDF Web Complaint Form.

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