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Florida man, 45, ‘who claimed $7.2 million in PPP loans bought mansion, cars’

Don Victor Cisternino (right), 45, of Bradenton, Florida, and his partner, Lori Quasky, 47, are pictured in the above undated file photo. Cisternino was indicted by the federal government for fraudulently using $7.2million he received in PPP loans to buy luxury items like a mansion and cars

A Florida man fraudulently took $7.2million in PPP loans by falsely claiming he employed 441 people, three of whom had been dead, and used it to buy a $3.5million seven-bedroom mansion and luxury cars including a Maserati, a Mercedes-Benz, and a Lincoln Navigator, the federal government alleges.

Don Victor Cisternino, 45, of Bradenton, Florida, was indicted on two counts of wire fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and three counts of illegal monetary transaction.

If convicted, he faces a possible sentence of decades behind bars. 

The feds allege Cisternino was able to get aid money intended to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by fraudulently claiming he employed 441 workers with an average monthly payroll of $2.88million.

According to court papers, Cisternino is the founder of a New York-based consultancy firm called MagnifiCo.

According to his LinkedIn page, Cisternino bills MagnifiCo as a company that ‘provides professional and personal services across a variety of industries including film, television, performing and fine arts.’

His partner is Lori Quasky, 47, MagnifiCo’s vice president of marketing, according to legal filings. She has two young children.

According to court papers, Cisternino and Quasky lived in a luxury apartment in Manatee County just outside of Tampa until August 2019, when they stopped paying rent and were threatened with eviction.

After the onset of the pandemic last spring, Cisternino applied for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, which was created after the federal government passed the CARES Act.

According to federal investigators, Cisternino and Quasky used the $7.2million PPP loan that was fraudulently obtained in order to take out a mortage on a $3.5million seven-bedroom mansion in Seminole County, Florida

According to federal investigators, Cisternino and Quasky used the $7.2million PPP loan that was fraudulently obtained in order to take out a mortage on a $3.5million seven-bedroom mansion in Seminole County, Florida

The image above shows a movie theater inside the massive 12-acre, 12,579-square-foot mansion in Chuluota

The image above shows a movie theater inside the massive 12-acre, 12,579-square-foot mansion in Chuluota

The above image shows a common room inside the home that the federal government says was bought by Cisternino and Quasky

The above image shows a common room inside the home that the federal government says was bought by Cisternino and Quasky

The property also includes an office with oak floors and a staircase (as seen in the above photo)

The property also includes an office with oak floors and a staircase (as seen in the above photo)

In late May, Cisternino was approved for a $7.2million PPP loan after he filed paperwork indicating that his firm, MagnifiCo, had an average monthly payroll of $2.9million, court filings allege.

After receiving the funds, he transferred the money to a CapitalOne bank account that before then had a balance of just $89.44, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Authorities began to grow suspicious that after Cisternino submitted several W-2 tax forms for his employees that either had duplicate, incorrect, or incomplete Social Security numbers, according to court papers.

Cisternino claimed that his employees were earning $85,000 a year and that they all had the same amount of taxes deducted from their wages – $3,356, according to court papers.

Court papers allege that Cisternino claimed his consulting firm, MagnifiCo, employed 108 people when in reality he employed 'few or none'. He is seen above with Quasky in this undated file photo

Court papers allege that Cisternino claimed his consulting firm, MagnifiCo, employed 108 people when in reality he employed ‘few or none’. He is seen above with Quasky in this undated file photo

Federal investigators grew suspicious when Cisternino submitted W-2 filings for his employees that contained duplicate and inaccurate Social Security numbers, according to court papers

Federal investigators grew suspicious when Cisternino submitted W-2 filings for his employees that contained duplicate and inaccurate Social Security numbers, according to court papers

This seemed odd since employees who work in the same company usually pay different amounts of taxes based on whether they were married or claim dependents.

According to the court filings, Cisternino’s profit and loss statements that he sent to the bank also had ‘basic math errors’ while some of the forms showed miscalculations for tax withholdings.

‘In my experience, this is an extremely odd occurrence since the rest of the Form W-2s have the correct calculations,’ IRS Special Agent Jacob Stafford wrote in the filing.

‘These figures are normally automatically calculated and for the numbers to be correct on most, but incorrect on others, shows the Form W-2 appears to have been engineered to apply for the PPP loan and not generated in the normal course of business.’

In the weeks after receiving the loan, Cisternino started buying luxury cars and a mansion.

He paid $89,000 for a Lincoln Navigator and $251,000 for a Mercedes-Benz, the feds allege. The Mercedes was bought from a car dealership in Sarasota, according to court papers.

He then made a $48,000 payment on a Maserati as well as a $7,000 payment on Quasky’s Nissan, the feds allege.

Cisternino also paid a $1.4million debt to a relative with the same last name, it is alleged.

The property in Chuluota also has a five-stall horse barn as well as a tennis court (above)

The property in Chuluota also has a five-stall horse barn as well as a tennis court (above)

The backyard area seen above also has a fireplace as well as a state-of-the-art swimming pool

The backyard area seen above also has a fireplace as well as a state-of-the-art swimming pool

The home also comes fitted with a walk-in shower, a spa-style soaking tub, his and hers vanities and modern custom cabinetry

The home also comes fitted with a walk-in shower, a spa-style soaking tub, his and hers vanities and modern custom cabinetry

The kitchen area, with its marble tops and modern design, is seen in the above photo

The kitchen area, with its marble tops and modern design, is seen in the above photo

There is also a separate two-bedroom guest house on the estate, according to real estate listings

There is also a separate two-bedroom guest house on the estate, according to real estate listings

He used money from the PPP loan to pay legal debts, including $41,000 to attorneys who represented him in court when he was sued by bank.

Cisternino also paid $175,000 to Godaddy.com to buy web site domains and $403,000 to small film production companies, according to legal papers.

The biggest purchase, however, was a massive 12-acre, 12,579-square-foot mansion in Chuluota.

In July, Cisternino and Quasky took out a mortgage on the seven-bedroom home that they bought for $3.5million, according to authorities.

The property includes a movie theater, British-style pub, a four-car garage, a pool, a tennis court, an office, and a five-stall horse barn. 

The home also comes fitted with a walk-in shower, a spa-style soaking tub, his and hers vanities and modern custom cabinetry, according to GrowthSpotter.

There is also a separate two-bedroom guest house on the estate. 

According to online records, Quasky worked as a marketing executive for several companies, including a real estate property management firm based in Florida.   

A representative of Gulf Coast Property Management told DailyMail.com that Quasky’s employment with the company was terminated on March 24 of last year.


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