A Florida pastor and his son used COVID-19 relief money to try to buy a $3.7 million Disney World mansion, federal prosecutors allege

  • A Florida pastor and his son used a COVID-era PPP loan to try to buy a $3.7 million Disney World mansion, federal prosecutors alleged.

  • Evan and Joshua Edwards are facing fraud charges over accusations they lied about their ministry to get an $8.4 million loan.

  • The feds forced the family to return the millions in 2020 and arrested the two men earlier this month.

A father and son scammed the federal government out of millions and tried to use the money to buy a Disney World mansion, federal prosecutors allege.

The pair — Evan Edwards, and his son, Joshua Edwards — were arrested in connection with the alleged scheme and charged with bank fraud and visa fraud.

In April of 2020, Evan Edwards submitted a PPP application to First Home Bank on behalf of his company, Aslan International Ministry, Inc., which, according to court documents, is a foreign, not-for-profit organization that provides religious services and was operating in Florida at the time.

The indictment alleges that Evan Edwards exaggerated how big the company was to get a loan totaling $8,417, 200 on behalf of the company.

The attorneys for both Evan and Joshua Edwards did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Instead of using the funds to support Aslan International Ministry, Inc., the father-son duo tried to use the money to buy a $3.7 million mansion at the Four Seasons Private Residence community at Walt Disney World Resort, according to a release from the Department of Justice published last year.

According to the DOJ, the remainder of the loan was hidden across multiple bank accounts held in the Edwards' names "in an attempt to hide and conceal their whereabouts."

In the same release, the feds said that the Evanses had to return the $8.4 million they had defrauded from the government, and that law enforcement agents were able to get back all the things the family bought with the money.

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