Damara Holness, daughter of Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, appeared in a Fort Lauderdale courtroom Wednesday accused of defrauding the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP.)
Holness is alleged to have applied for the federal program designed to provide relief to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in June of 2020.
Prosecutors say the application she filled out on behalf of her business Holness Consulting, Inc. indicated a payroll of 18 employees but it was later determined the business in fact had zero employees.
Damara Holness is accused of writing checks with PPP funds and having them cashed by accomplices who would in turn give most of the money back to her.
The total amount of the federal loan she was granted was $300,000
Holness faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the single charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Her father, Dale Holness, is running for congress in Florida’s 20th district, a seat vacated by the death of Rep. Alcee Hastings, which runs from central Miami-Dade to areas around West Palm Beach and Lake Okeechobee in Palm Beach County. He is currently a county commissioner in Broward.