Private jets, expensive hotels, designer handbags and luxury apartments - for a life in the lap of luxury, a 32-year-old in the USA became a fraud. With the help of fake identities, Danielle M. from Miami procured around 1.5 million US dollars in corona aid. The influencer has now pleaded guilty before a district court in Massachussetts.
According to the indictment, the New York native had more than 10 different identities through Massachusetts' online driver's license portal and used other methods to receive federally funded corona aid. With the money, she chartered a private jet in August 2020 and flew from Florida to California to stay in a luxury hotel in West Hollywood under a false identity. In another case, she used the identity of a fraud victim to rent a luxury apartment in Florida.
A month later, under a stolen identity, she rented a Honda Civic that was left behind in Miami. Inside was a Florida employment agency document that was in her real name, the prosecution said. However, authorities only caught on to her in early 2021, when a woman from Abington, Massachusetts discovered her identity had been stolen. Someone had applied for a lease on her behalf. In May 2021, the scammer was finally arrested at a luxury Miami apartment where she had relocated during the pandemic.
She has boasted about her lavish lifestyle on TikTok and Instagram, where she is followed by 33,000 people. There she showed herself in designer clothes with expensive handbags, posed in front of expensive cars or showed up in luxury accommodations.
On Monday, Danielle M. pleaded guilty to fraud and aggravated identity theft, the Massachusetts Attorney's Office said. According to court documents, she is free on $100,000 bail and living under house arrest in New York City. She also has to wear an electronic ankle bracelet. The verdict is scheduled for June 27th.
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Sources: Massachussett Attorney's Office, Reuters