Valesky Barosy — online, at least — was living the high-life in Miami: driving an exotic Lamborghini, posing on a private jet, boasting an Instagram account with over 110,000 followers.
He touted himself as an immigrant success story, arriving from Haiti a decade ago, working his way up from a menial job at Walmart to “regional vice president” of a credit repair company that purportedly racks up “$3.6 million in sales.”
But in reality, federal authorities say, the 27-year-old Barosy and his cohorts were ripping off taxpayers — fraudulently securing $2.1 million in loans to buy the peak Miami status symbols: a Lamborghini Huracán EVO, Rolex and Hublot watches, and designer clothing from Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel.
A federal grand jury has now indicted Barosy on charges of wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. The indictment was unsealed Wednesday as Barosy made his first appearance in a Fort Lauderdale federal court.
Barosy is being held in federal detention. His defense attorney did not return a call seeking comment on Wednesday.
The Payroll Protection Program, or PPP, was created in 2020 to help businesses decimated following shutdowns caused by the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The program allowed for the loans to be forgiven, if borrowers followed criteria laid out by the Small Business Administration, or SBA.
As the nation’s No. 1 fraud capital, South Florida has led the financial crime wave that followed the passage of the CARES Act, according to federal prosecutors.
In South Florida, that’s included a businessman using PPP money to buy a $318,000 Lamborghini, a nurse alleged to have lied about his business to get $474,000 that was used in part to pay a Mercedes-Benz lease and child support, and a North Miami suburban couple that claimed to be farmers to qualify for $1 million in relief benefits.
This month, two Florida men pleaded guilty to helping arrange over $35 million in PPP loans. The ring also netted the conviction of former NFL player Joshua Bellamy, who was sentenced to more than three years in prison for wire-fraud conspiracy.
As for Barosy, according to the indictment, he was the president of a company known as VBarosySolutions Inc., or VBS.
For various loans, per the feds, Barosy dummied up prior-year expenses, net profit, and payroll, and submitted bogus IRS tax forms to secure the payments, which were then used to buy the Lambo, the watches and the clothes.
He wasn’t bashful about flaunting his wealth.
On Instagram, he posed often with the white Lambo, pitching himself as a mentor who could inspire — and enrich. “It’s not the Lamborghini or the million dollar home that will inspire the world but the trials and tribulations you overcame,” he wrote in one post.
Although the details are nebulous, his online bios tout Barosy as a “7 Figure Entrepreneur” complete with all the 2021 buzz words: “NFT Creator, Marketing, e-commerce,” and vaguely boasts having appeared on ABC, Fox News and “Miami News.”
“How This Haitian Entrepreneur Went From Walmart To Disrupting The Multi-Million Dollar Credit Repair Industry,” blared the headline of one “press release.”
Additionally, he boasts being part of Financial Education Services Inc. — a company described by Georgia’s Attorney General as an “illegal credit repair business” that uses “unlawful and deceptive practices in their multi-level marketing structure.”
The company in 2019 agreed to pay a $1.75 million fine to the state of Georgia over its practices. The company appears to now go by the name United Wealth Education.
The investigation was headed by the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Bailyn is prosecuting the case, while federal prosecutor Nicole Grosnoff will oversee efforts to seize his ill-gotten goods. Barosy faces up to 132 years in prison if convicted.
This story was originally published December 29, 2021 5:44 PM.