A Miami murder has been linked to a federal Payroll Protection Program loan after officials said in court documents that money from the U.S. COVID-19 program was used to hire a man accused of being a hitman.
Arrest warrants allege that Martinez then used more than $10,000 of that money in connection with the May 3 slaying of Transportation Security Administration officer Le’Shonte Jones.
Javon Carter was arrested earlier this month in Jones’ death, the Herald reported.
Carter, 29, Martinez, 33, and one of her boyfriends, Rumiel Robinson, 35, all are facing murder charges, the report said.
Arrest warrants say that on the day Jones was killed, Carter videoed himself counting a “large sum” of cash. “Just another day at the office,” he said, according to the warrants.
The warrants do not delve into the issue of whether Martinez in fact owned a beauty salon or whether this could potentially be a case of PPP misuse.
Jones, 24, was gunned down while walking to her apartment building in broad daylight with her 3-year-old daughter, according to The New York Times.
She and her toddler suffered “multiple gunshot wounds.” The child was airlifted to a hospital.
Surveillance footage showed Jones and her daughter walking into the building when a man — identified by police as Carter — got out of a car and shot them with a semiautomatic pistol.
Court papers indicate that there had been a long-running antagonism between Martinez and Jones that peaked in February 2020 when Kelly Nelson, identified as Martinez’s boyfriend, was accused of attacking Jones.
A Florida woman who was reportedly given a US $15,000 federal payroll protection (PPP) loan last April, has been accused of using the money to hire a hitman to kill a TSA agent.https://t.co/qEd7xrE0Wf pic.twitter.com/uGZBLvrr5s
— Jamaica Observer (@JamaicaObserver) February 16, 2022
The warrants include snippets of conversation between Martinez and Nelson, who was jailed.
Martinez said she was “ready to go kill this ho” and that Jones had to “die,” the warrant said, according to the Herald.
Fallon Zirpoli, a lawyer representing Martinez, declined to comment on the PPP loan, saying she had no information on that matter.
The Times noted that vetting on PPP loans was minimal.
A study from the University of Texas, Austin cited by the Times estimated 1.8 million of 11.8 million PPP loans given out had at least one indication of possible fraud.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.