’50 to 70′ BSO employees accused in PPP loan fraud case, Florida Bulldog reports – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

NEAR FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — Dozens of Broward Sheriff’s Office employees are accused of an elaborate cash crime revolving around Paycheck Protection Program loans during the coronavirus pandemic, according to published reports.

According to Florida Bulldog investigative reporter Dan Christensen, between 50 and 70 BSO employees will soon be charged with fraud. They are accused of fraudulently applying and receiving large PPP loans under the Federal Paycheck Protection Program that began during the COVID crisis.

Christensen spoke with 7News on Wednesday.

“I’ve heard- the word that’s going around at Broward Sheriff’s Office is 50 to 70 employees, mostly deputies, sworn deputies, detention deputies and other employees that are part of a PPP fraud loan investigation and that indictments are coming down,” he said. “Since I wrote the story, I’ve heard it could be as early as tomorrow.”

Christensen said dozens of indictments are imminent.

“What I was told is there are 15 to 20 law enforcement officers, meaning street deputies and their supervisors, and the rest being detention deputies — jail guards and civilian employees at the sheriff’s office,” he said.

The COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force Team, created by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate fraud, is based out of Miami.

Christensen said high-ranking BSO employees may be involved.

“I’ve heard different stories, up to and including lieutenants. Today I’m also hearing that there have been captains involved, some of whom have been asked to resign,” he said. “What I’ve heard is that most, if not all, that have been implicated in this have been suspended.”

At an event held Wednesday, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony avoided any questions by quickly leaving.

Matt Cowart, a spokesperson for the Broward Deputy Sheriffs Association spoke to 7News over the phone. He said, “Regardless of the situation, internal and/or external, everyone is entitled to due process … Nothing has been confirmed to the union as of yet.”

However, Christensen, a veteran reporter, said these latest indictments expected to come down would be unprecedented.

“I’ve seen plenty of indictments of law enforcement officers, but I’ve never heard of 50 to 70 law enforcement people being indicted,” he said.

7News reached out to BSO as to whether officials would confirm or deny any of this information. They declined to comment.

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