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A Miami luxury real estate agent under investigation for misuse of federal pandemic relief funds has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering, according to a report in The Real Deal.
Agent Daniela Rendon was indicted in February on two counts of money laundering, seven counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. After pleading guilty this week to wire fraud, the government is seeking to dismiss the other charges against her, according to the report.
Rendon’s fiance Eliasib Reyes, a finance manager at a South Florida BMW dealer, was also indicted days earlier on similar charges related to her case.
Rendon is accused of submitting false applications to the federal Paycheck Protection Program by falsifying her revenue, payroll and IRS tax forms, according to the federal complaint against her.
Rendon allegedly scammed the government out of approximately $381,000, according to the complaint. To launder the funds, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says Rendon enrolled with a payroll processor to issue fraudulent checks to herself, friends and family members.
Rendon allegedly used money from the PPP program to lease a 2021 Bentley Bentayga, pay her Biscayne Bay rental apartment, refinish her designer shoes and pay for a dermatology procedure, according to the government.
Reyes, her fiance, is similarly accused of submitting fraudulent applications for Economic Injury Disaster loans, which he allegedly used to buy a $20,000 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch, a $10,000 Rolex Oystersteel and Everose Gold, as well as adding $10,000 to his personal brokerage account and paying off his credit card bills, according to The Real Deal.
Rendon, who is currently licensed with Prestige Empire Realty, has over 33,000 followers on Instagram where she promotes images of a lavish lifestyle — partying in Ibiza, lounging on yachts and enjoying lavish dinners. Her account was turned private when the charges against her were first made public in February, but it has since been made public again.
Rendon has worked on luxury deals including sales of units at the Estates at Acqualina, the Mansions at Acqualina and Bentley Residences.
Court filings also show that Rendon falsely claimed to be the head of the development company Rendon PA, which she states generated between $92 and $100 million between early 2019 and 2020. In reality, during that period she was a sales associate for the Trump Group’s A3 Development, which recently developed the Estates at Aqualina.
The agent faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, though the government is reportedly recommending her sentence be reduced. She may also face a fine of $250,000.