A former Broward sheriff’s deputy faces charges in a coronavirus relief loan plan
Another former Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy has been accused of wrongly obtaining money from a government loan program meant to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just last year, 17 Broward Sheriff’s employees faced charges of fraud for the same loan program.
READ MORE: 17 Broward sheriff’s employees face charges for exploiting federal pandemic loan program
Ernest Bernard Gounder Jr., 41, of Port St. Lucie, faces two counts of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. Gonder was a lieutenant in the BSO’s detention division.
Gonder made his first appearance in court on Tuesday and was granted $250,000 bail, which he posted while he is not in jail. His case will be resolved through a plea agreement with a jury trial scheduled for early March, court documents show.
On April 1, authorities said Gonder submitted a fraudulent application for a Paycheck Protection Program loan on behalf of EBG Properties LLC, lying about the company’s monthly payroll and number of employees, the state Attorney General’s Office said.
The program has been the main benefit of pandemic relief for struggling businesses.
Gonder is listed as the registered agent and sole authorized member of EBG Properties, a Florida corporation, according to Florida Division of Corporations records.
He was approved for a loan of $106,540, which was disbursed into a bank account controlled by Gonder, officials said.
Five days later, he made a second fraudulent PPP loan that “distorted” payroll and employees at Impact Center of Broward County Inc.
Gonder is listed as president of the Impact Center, Florida business records show.
He was approved again for a loan of $61,210 that was disbursed to a different bank account that he still controlled.
He was accused of receiving $167,750 in fraudulent loans on January 5.