HomeMiami NewsMiami jury finds Broward deputy sheriff guilty in federal COVID-19 fraud case

Miami jury finds Broward deputy sheriff guilty in federal COVID-19 fraud case


Miami, Florida – A federal jury in Miami has convicted Alexandra Acosta, a Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) deputy, of multiple charges related to a fraudulent COVID-19 relief scheme. Acosta, aged 38 from Tamarac, Florida, was found guilty on charges of conspiracy to defraud the Small Business Administration (SBA), making false statements to the SBA, and committing wire fraud.

The case, which unfolded on June 5, spotlighted Acosta’s involvement in deceptively obtaining a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. She collaborated with her tax preparer, Vilsaint St Louis, to apply for the PPP loan using significantly overstated claims about her income as a realtor. The loan application included two falsified IRS tax forms to support the inflated income claims. Acosta also managed to secure forgiveness for the loan, which amounted to over $20,000 in principal and interest.

Background and Roles

During the time of these illegal activities in 2021, Acosta was not only employed as a deputy in BSO’s Department of Law Enforcement but also notably served as the first and only female member of the BSO SWAT team. Her roles highlight the severity of her breach of trust within the community and law enforcement.

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Sentencing and Co-conspirator

Acosta now faces substantial prison time, with potential sentences of up to 20 years for the wire fraud conviction, 5 years for the conspiracy conviction, and 2 years for each conviction of making false statements. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 27 under U.S. Senior District Judge Robert N. Scola.

St Louis, Acosta’s co-conspirator, had previously entered a guilty plea for his involvement in the conspiracy and received a sentence of one year of probation, a fine of $5,000, and 100 hours of community service on May 14.

The case was jointly announced by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Markenzy Lapointe, along with several notable officials, including Brian Tucker, the Special Agent in Charge for the Eastern Region of the Office of Inspector General for the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; BSO Sheriff Gregory Tony; and Jeffrey B. Veltri, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Miami Field Office.

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This investigation involved collaborative efforts from the FRB-OIG, BSO, and the FBI Miami office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Trevor Jones and Adam Love are prosecuting the case, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Grove overseeing asset forfeiture.

Reporting and Public Outreach

The Department of Justice continues to urge the public to report any suspected COVID-19 related fraud by contacting the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the NCDF Web Complaint Form.

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