Woman allegedly used PPP loan to hire hitman
A Florida woman was placed under arrest and is facing charges after police say she used funds from a Paycheck Protection Program loan to hire a hitman.
Authorities in Miami say Jasmine Martinez, 33, used part of a $15,000 loan from the program established to provide COVID-19 relief to pay a hitman who allegedly shot and killed Le’Shonte Jones, 24, in front of her home last year.
Martinez reportedly received the loan on April 20, 2021, and withdrew $10,000 of it from her account just days before Jones was shot to death. Police have separately arrested Javon Carter, who they believe was the hitman, The New York Times reported.
An arrest warrant dated Feb. 9 detailed that Martinez was arrested along with Romiel Robinson, who is believed to be in a relationship with Martinez, on charges of conspiracy to murder and first-degree murder, according to the Miami Herald.
Carter’s arrest was announced by Miami police last week. He was charged with first-degree murder in Jones’s case and the attempted murder of Jones’s 3-year-old daughter, who was reportedly grazed by bullets at the time, the Times reported.
Police found a video on Carter’s phone that showed him counting money just hours after Jones’s death and saying “just another day in the office,” the news outlet noted.
Martinez’s lawyer, Fallon Zirpoli, released a statement Tuesday night denying her client’s involvement in the incident, according to the Times.
“[Martinez] has always denied any involvement in this tragedy since the first time law enforcement approached her last summer,” Zirpoli reportedly said.