Florida Pastor And His Son Arrested In Alleged $8 Million COVID Scam

A Florida pastor and his son were arrested in connection with a COVID scam over a year and a half after federal prosecutors ordered them to forfeit $8.4 million.

Evan Edwards and his son, Josh, 30, are accused of fraud for applying for a $6 million Paycheck Protection Program loan for ASLAN International Ministry in April 2020. The pair claimed the organization had 486 employees and a monthly payroll of $2.7 million. They were approved for an $8.4 million loan.

However, federal officials noticed red flags and began investigating the organization. When they showed up at the ministry’s office in Orlando, they found it was closed and the doors were locked. Neighbors said they never saw people working inside. In addition, the fundraising links on the group’s website did not work, and the text was taken from the websites of other religious organizations.

Despite being ordered to return the money in April 2021, the pair was not formally charged. In July 2022, NBC News reported on the story and questioned why Edwards and his son had yet to be charged for their alleged scheme.

Federal officials have not said why it took so long to file charges against Evan and Josh.

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