US Instagram influencer admits to $1m COVID relief fraud | Coronavirus pandemic News


Federal prosecutors say self-proclaimed con artist Danielle Miller used stolen identities to acquire pandemic loans.

A social media influencer has pleaded responsible to utilizing stolen identities to fraudulently acquire greater than $1m in small enterprise loans associated to COVID relief programmes in the US.

Danielle Miller’s lavish way of life — which she flaunted over Instagram — got here crashing down when she was arrested in Might 2021 at her luxurious house in Miami, Florida.

Miller appeared by video on Monday earlier than a federal choose in Boston to plead responsible to the wire fraud and aggravated id theft expenses.

The 33-year-old agreed to forfeit $1.3m and serve six years in jail, 16 months of which can overlap with a five-year sentence she acquired in October for a separate Florida financial institution fraud case. She is about to be sentenced on June 27.

Social media influencer Danielle Miller is scheduled to face sentencing in June [Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office/Reuters]

Miller’s story captured public consideration whereas underscoring the rampant fraud that accompanied a authorities rush to distribute greater than $5 trillion in aid funds to folks, companies and native governments affected by the pandemic throughout the US.

Final week, the White Home mentioned US President Joe Biden plans to ask Congress to offer $1.6bn in new funding to crack down on fraud tied to the aid programmes.

The US Authorities Accountability Workplace mentioned final month greater than 1,000 folks have been convicted of fraud regarding federal COVID aid.

For her half, Miller advised New York Journal in February 2022 that she thought-about herself a “con artist”.

The article detailed Miller’s development from a pupil on the prestigious Horace Mann College to a socialite whose way of life shortly turned depending on crime. Her father is a lawyer and former New York State Bar Affiliation president.

Miller had beforehand been arrested for utilizing faux bank cards at a New York Metropolis spa and was sentenced to a yr in jail.

After she was launched, prosecutors mentioned Miller used the identities of greater than 10 folks to fraudulently arrange financial institution accounts and procure the pandemic-related loans supposed for small companies.

She used the cash for journey and luxury purchases akin to a Rolex watch, a Louis Vuitton bag and Dior footwear, authorities mentioned.

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