Florida woman pleads guilty in million-dollar COVID relief scam
A Florida woman — who authorities say chartered a private jet to fly her cross-country with some of the more than $1 million in federal coronavirus relief funds that she fraudulently obtained by using stolen identities — pleaded guilty Monday, federal prosecutors said.
Danielle Miller, 32, of Miami, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston.
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Miller used the identities of more than 10 people and used fake business names to apply for and receive more than $1 million in Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds as well as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and related unemployment benefits from July 2020 to May 2021, prosecutors said.
Miller possessed counterfeit driver’s licenses in the victims’ names but bearing her photograph. In one case, she accessed a victim’s online Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles records and used the personal identifying information to open a bank account in that person’s name, prosecutors said.
Miller used a counterfeit driver’s license in August 2020 to arrange a Gulfstream private jet charter flight from Florida to California, where she stayed at a luxury hotel under the same victim’s name, prosecutors said.
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In another case, prosecutors said she used someone else’s identity to rent a luxury apartment in Florida.
Miller boasted about her extravagant lifestyle on her Instagram account, where she had more than 34,000 followers, authorities said, posting about her purchases of luxury items and her stays at opulent hotels in California, which she paid for using the bank account of one of her victims.
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Miller is scheduled to be sentenced on July 27. She was arrested in May 2021.