Nurse faces federal charges over alleged $475K coronavirus relief fraud in Miami

MIAMI – A 55-year-old nurse appeared in federal court on Friday in Miami to face fraud charges related to $475,000 in coronavirus relief fraud, prosecutors said.

Giraldo Caraballo is accused of defrauding two federal aid programs: The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, which is designed to prevent layoffs during the pandemic, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, or EIDL, which is meant to help small businesses survive the crisis.

Caraballo reported he had employees through his company Professional Skills Inc., when in reality he didn’t, according to federal prosecutors. By lying on the aid applications, prosecutors said he received about $420,000 of PPP aid and $55,000 of EIDL aid.

In the PPP application, Caraballo reported he had an average monthly payroll of $168,000 with 28 employees, and on the EIDL application, he reported he had had four employees and $180,000 in 12-month gross revenue, prosecutors said.  

FBI agents reported Caraballo used the taxpayers’ money that was designated to help save jobs and keep businesses running during the pandemic for personal expenses. Prosecutors said there is evidence he then transferred $239,000 into a personal bank account.

Caraballo’s arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Becerra is on Jan. 29 in Miami. Investigators are asking anyone with information about fraud involving federal aid to call the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721.

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.