By Bruce Lee Roistacher

According to the Mohamed A. Awad from Ocala recently admitted to stealing over $2 million in Covid-19 relief funds.

This article demonstrates the legal need to be extremely careful in applications that you submit to any governmental agency.  In this instance the applications were submitted to Federal Agencies therefore they were Federal Crimes. If a fraudulent application is submitted from a state agency it would be a state crime. To protect yourself, make certain you review any application regarding loans with your accountant, bookkeeper, or your own financial records. Be careful about overestimating or underestimating any financial accounting in your applications.

ocala man accused of stealing over $2 million from covid-19 relief fund
Further this brings us to another issue: Withdrawal of over $10,000 in cash from a financial institution.
This triggers a requirement for the financial institution to report the withdrawal to the IRS. This requirement was instituted to prevent money laundering and tax evasion. Lastly, if you receive any notice from a government agency that deals with the above issues, you should contact your accountant and attorney to make them aware of the possibility that you may be subject to a pending investigation.
Hiring an attorney who can contact a representative at a Federal or State agency may be extremely helpful to your situation.

If I were to defend this individual, there are several defenses available to employ. Initially I would find out who prepared the financial documents. If it was an accountant or bookkeeper, I would conduct a deposition. A deposition is putting a potential witness under oath prior to trial. I would find out the facts and circumstances in the preparation of the financial documents. (that may create a viable defense). Secondly, I would hire a forensic accountant to review the alleged movement of the monies. I also would prepare a full history of my client’s background and look for any mitigating circumstances that I could prepare for the court.

If you or a loved one needs the assistance of one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys, don’t hesitate to call us at 352-WIN-4YOU We are available 24/7 and we offer payment plans.