A Florida pastor and his son are accused of performing some very unholy issues.
Earlier this morning, Pastor Evan Edwards and his son Josh, 30, had been arrested for bilking taxpayers of $8 million in a COVID-19 aid rip-off. Police made the arrest at Edwards’ residence in New Smyrna Seaside. The elder Evans was seen being pushed in a wheelchair.
A Florida pastor and his son have been arrested on prices of fraudulently acquiring greater than $8 million in federal Covid aid funds and making an attempt to make use of among the cash to purchase a luxurious residence close to Disney World. https://t.co/fwvoPoz7XX
— NBC Information (@NBCNews) December 14, 2022
The Edwards are Christian missionaries from Canada who moved to Florida in 2019. They run a corporation referred to as ASLAN Worldwide Ministry.
Based on an indictment unsealed at this time, Josh Edwards “submitted a fraudulent PPP mortgage software” on behalf of ASLAN Worldwide Ministry for $6 million, claiming his ministry had “common month-to-month payroll bills” of over $2.7 million and over 480 staff. In fact, in response to prosecutors, these numbers had been “considerably decrease, or solely nonexistent.”
Nonetheless, again in 2020, the federal government in the end accredited ASLAN Worldwide for an $8.4 million mortgage.
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An extended investigation
The Edwards case dates again to April 2020, when investigators started to see some pink flags across the mortgage.
As an example, the accountant the ministry allegedly used suffered from dementia. and hadn’t completed any work for the group since 2017, in response to an investigation by NBC Information.
Later, when Florida Freeway Patrol pulled over the Edwards household rushing down I-75 north, they found rubbish luggage filled with shredded paperwork and digital units packed in a so-called Faraday bag, which blocks radio frequencies.
Cops additionally discovered a 49-page analysis handbook revealed by the Bureau of Justice referred to as ‘Tracing Cash Flows By means of Monetary Establishments.’
Regardless of the proof and the damning report by NBC, it took 18 months to file prices within the case.
However at this time, Evan Edwards and his son Josh had been taken to the federal courthouse in Orlando, the place they appeared earlier than a choose. Josh Edwards appeared disoriented and refused to reply the choose’s questions, in response to WESH-2 Information. The choose ordered a psychiatric analysis.
In the meantime, the response in the neighborhood has been a mixture of shock and indignation.
“We’re to listen to the complete story. It is simply completely out of character for a person of God, supposedly,” a cousin informed NBC Information.
Some neighbors had been much less forgiving.
“He stole cash throughout a pandemic,” a neighbor informed NBC. “He stole it within the identify of God. That makes you the worst scuzz on the face of the Earth.”