On his LinkedIn page, David Hines spent seven paragraphs explaining his personal philosophy, using the kind of vague but ambitious language that will sound familiar to anyone who has spoken with a wild-eyed stranger while you both waited for a nightclub's single-stall bathroom.
"If I'm forced to exist within this system and expected to follow a set of rules, of which many I do not care for, then I'm certainly going to expect you to give me a good reason and understanding about why I should be doing what you want me to do, instead of what I know with certainty is right," the 29-year-old Miami man wrote.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently gave Hines "a good understanding" of what he should be doing or, more accurately, what he shouldn't have done. According to a criminal complaint that was unsealed on Monday, Hines has been charged with one count of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, and one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds, because he allegedly accepted $3.9 million in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the U.S. Government. If he is convicted on all three felonies, he could spend up to 70 years in prison.
The complaint also alleges that, just days after those seven figures hit his bank account, Hines blew $318,497 on a 2020 Lamborghini Huracán EVO, and dropped thousands more at swanky hotels in Miami, at Saks Fifth Avenue, and at a luxury jeweler. He also sent at least $30,000 to a person identified only as "Mom."
Hines is accused of submitting applications for $13.5 million in pandemic-related relief funds through the Small Business Administration, which he said would be used to cover "millions of dollars" in payroll expenses for his four companies. He was approved for $3,984,557 in PPP loans, but instead of paying his employees, Hines allegedly spent that money on "dating websites, luxury jewelry, clothing retailers, and Miami Beach resorts." And yes, the Lambo, which was registered in his name and in the name of one of his companies.
Hines has four businesses registered with the Florida State Division of Corporations: Unified Relocation Solutions; Promaster Movers, Inc.; Cash-In-Holdings, Inc.; and We-Pack Moving, LLC. Justice Department investigators found that there was "no record" of any websites for any of these businesses, but Promaster Movers and We-Pack Moving have both received F-ratings from the Better Business Bureau. "Virtually all of the reviews include complaints related to bait-and-switch practices and other deceitful activities," the complaint said in a gloriously snarky footnote.
On his PPP applications, Hines stated that the four companies employed a combined 70 individuals and had a collective payroll of $4 million per month. But after he received the loans, he paid "at most" 12 people, and none of those payments was for more than $3,000. (The Florida Department of Revenue also had no record of Hines reporting any wage information for any of his so-called workers for the past five years, but that seems like the least of his problems right now.)
“David is a legitimate business owner who, like millions of Americans, suffered financially during the Pandemic,” Hines's attorney, Chad Piotrowski, told the Washington Post. “While the allegations appear very serious, especially in light of the Pandemic, David is anxious to tell his side of the story when the time comes.”
The Miami Herald reports that the Lamborghini was connected to Hines on July 11, when he and the car were involved in a hit-and-run accident. The car was impounded by federal authorities and it will remain in their possession.
This is actually Hines's second Lamborghini-related arrest. In October 2018, Hines stopped a police officer and reported that his girlfriend had stolen his sports car. She and the vehicle were both found nearby, but the couple both became "uncooperative," according to NBC6, and fled the scene. He was charged with battery on an officer and resisting arrest, while she scored a matching charge for resisting arrest, as well as possession of a controlled substance.
After receiving his most recent trio of felonies, Hines was jailed for the weekend, but has since been released on $100,000 bond, equipped with a GPS monitor, and sent to his mother's house.
As of this writing, Hines's LinkedIn page has been removed. He had listed his occupation as "Philanthropist."