fbpx

Brevard County Political Consultant Arrested on Pandemic Loan Fraud Charges: Defending Constitutional Rights

Brevard County Political Consultant Arrested on Pandemic Loan Fraud Charges: Defending Constitutional Rights

Brevard County Political Consultant Arrested on Pandemic Loan Fraud Charges: Defending Constitutional Rights 150 150 Leppard Law - Top Rated Orlando DUI Lawyers & Criminal Attorneys in Orlando

In a shocking turn of events, Robert Burns, a well-known Brevard County political consultant and owner of the Space Coast Rocket local news website, found himself in the crosshairs of the federal legal system on Tuesday. Burns was arrested on charges related to an alleged PPP loan fraud scheme, as revealed in court files.

A grand jury indictment handed down Monday in the Middle District of Florida accused Burns of fraudulently obtaining over $57,000 in loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This program was established during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a lifeline to struggling small businesses.

Prosecutors allege that Burns misrepresented his income and submitted false tax documents on loan applications to the program between March and April 2021. They claim he used the funds to buy cryptocurrency and engage in “gambling-related transactions,” according to the indictment. Burns now faces three counts of federal wire fraud.

“While the allegations against Mr. Burns are serious, it’s important to remember that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. At Leppard Law, we believe in defending the constitutional rights of all individuals, regardless of their background or the charges they face.” – Joe Easton, Federal Criminal Defense Attorney at Leppard Law

Burns turned himself in at an arraignment in Orlando Tuesday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was released with pre-trial conditions, according to court records.

The maximum penalty for wire fraud committed during an emergency declared under the federal Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which included COVID-19, is up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, as per federal statute. However, defendants convicted of this crime have typically received far less severe sentences.

Burns’ defense attorney, Jessica Travis, issued a statement accusing Burns’ political enemies, including State Rep. Randy Fine (R-Melbourne Beach), of working to manufacture charges against him. Travis and Burns have had a long-standing public feud with Fine.

“It’s no secret that those who politically oppose Mr. Burns have filed MANY frivolous civil and criminal complaints against him,” Travis said in the written statement. “They obsessively use social media to spread lies and harass him. Randy Fine even admitted during a recent deposition to sending a text that he would do everything in his power ‘to make him (Burns) suffer.'”

Fine responded with his own statement Tuesday, saying Travis’ comments “should be taken with a big grain of salt” and that “Robert Burns only has one person to blame” for his various legal troubles: “Himself. … He is a clear and present danger to our community — and should rot in prison.”

In addition to the federal case, Burns faces other legal challenges. He is set for a final hearing this week for unrelated allegations of election law violations connected to his political consulting and electioneering.

Burns also has a pending case on assault and witness tampering charges from a September incident. He allegedly videotaped himself confronting a Fine supporter who he claimed made inappropriate Facebook comments about his children at her workplace in Melbourne. Burns has denied these charges.

“Navigating the complexities of the legal system can be overwhelming, especially when facing multiple charges. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side who understands the intricacies of the law and can fight for your rights. At Leppard Law, we provide our clients with the dedicated, skilled representation they deserve.” – John Vallillo, Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer

As this case unfolds, it serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding the constitutional rights of all individuals accused of crimes. At Leppard Law, our team of expert criminal defense attorneys is committed to providing each client with the personal attention and tireless advocacy they need during these challenging times.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. With over 60 years of combined experience and a track record of countless dismissals and reductions, we’re here to be your voice and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.