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Former Broward Deputy Sentenced for COVID-19 Fraud

Former Broward Deputy Sentenced for COVID-19 Fraud

Former Broward Deputy Sentenced for COVID-19 Fraud



MIAMI – Stephanie Diane Smith, 54, of Sunrise, Florida, was sentenced to seven months in federal prison for her involvement in a COVID-19 relief fraud scheme. Smith, a former deputy sheriff with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, was found guilty by a federal jury in Fort Lauderdale in March 2024 on two counts of wire fraud related to the scheme.


Smith fraudulently obtained two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in 2021 by submitting materially false gross income information for two sole proprietorship businesses, Children 1st Basketball Training and Agape Smith Vending. The scheme resulted in Smith unlawfully receiving $31,108.


U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn imposed the sentence, which includes a three-year term of supervised release following imprisonment, restitution of $31,108, a $2,000 fine, and forfeiture of the fraudulent proceeds.


The case was announced by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Markenzy Lapointe; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Brian Tucker of the Eastern Region, Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (FRB-OIG); and Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony.


The investigation was conducted by the FBI Miami, FRB-OIG, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Snider and Trevor Jones, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Grove handling asset forfeiture.


This case is part of the efforts of the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force, established by the Attorney General on May 17, 2021. The Task Force enhances efforts to investigate and prosecute pandemic-related fraud and supports agencies administering relief programs in preventing fraud.


On September 15, 2022, the Southern District of Florida’s U.S. Attorney’s Office was selected to head one of three national COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force Teams. The Strike Force focuses on large-scale, multistate pandemic relief fraud perpetrated by criminal organizations and transnational actors.

For more information on the Department of Justice’s response to the pandemic, visit justice.gov/coronavirus.


Anyone with information about COVID-19 related fraud can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.


Related court documents and information can be found on the District Court for the Southern District of Florida’s website at flsd.uscourts.gov under case number 23-cr-60203.



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