The daughter of a Broward County Commissioner currently running for the U.S. Congress is facing a federal indictment for filing fraudulent loan requests through a federal COVID-19 program.
Damara Holness is the 28-year-old daughter of Broward Commissioner Dale Holness. He is a three-term Democrat Commissioner who is currently running to represent Florida’s 20th Congressional District, succeeding the late U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings.
Damar Holness was charged Tuesday with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud for allegedly receiving a $300,000 loan from the Paycheck Protection Program to pay 18 employees at Holness Consulting Inc. in Plantation, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
The paper reported that according to the indictment against her, Holness’ loan application falsely stated that Holness Consulting had 18 employees and had an average monthly payroll of $120,000 a month. The state has no record of the employees.
It said Holness is listed as the company’s director in state corporation filings and she allegedly claimed Holness Consulting paid wages of $1,440,000 and withheld from those wages federal income tax of $532,800, Social Security tax of $178,560 and Medicare tax of $41,760.
“Based on the false information she gave, her loan was approved in July 2020. Holness started issuing checks to people to make it appear as if Holness Consulting had full-time employees and was complying with the conditions of the PPP loan, the indictment says. She then directed them to endorse the checks and return them to her, the indictment says
“According to the indictment, Holness cashed the checks and gave a few hundred dollars to the person she issued the check to, and kept $1,000 of the remaining amount for herself from each check,” reported the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
The commissioner could not be reached for comment.