The Miami influencer Daniela Rendon was charged on Thursday, February 2 with fraud for allegedly utilizing COVID-19 assistance funds to purchase expensive items.
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The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a program run by the Small Business Administration to aid entrepreneurs in maintaining their enterprises, awarded $381,000 to Daniela Rendon, according to the New York Post. However, according to the prosecution, Rendon spent the money on a 2021 Bentley Bentayga, fashionable shoes, a lavish apartment, and cosmetic surgery.
Seven counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering, and one count of aggravated identity theft have been brought against her. Most of Daniela Rendon’s social media accounts went private shortly after her arrest.
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Who is Daniela Rendon?
Daniela Rendon is a luxury real estate agent who curates high-end apartments. Born in Colombia, she was educated as a nurse at Miami Dade College before briefly working in the cosmetic surgery industry as a Surgery Coordinator in 2014. By 2017, she had transitioned to the real estate sector.
Rendon’s social media profiles were linked to her real estate career, as she portrayed an opulent lifestyle that her audience aspired to. Her online profile stated that she sold properties in Dubai in addition to Miami. According to NBC Miami, she was accused of submitting fraudulent applications for COVID-19 relief funds in order to fund the lifestyle she maintains.
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“Rendon submitted fraudulent applications seeking COVID-19 relief funds from the Small Business Administration and PPP. She is alleged to have falsified her revenue and payroll and submitted fraudulent IRS tax forms,” as per the Department of Justice.
Prosecutors claimed Rendon was a flight risk because she could return to Colombia, but her attorney denied this. Rendon’s defense attorney, Sam Rabin, stated that his client was a permanent resident of the United States with three children. As a result, he stated, there was no need to detain her.