Brevard Co. consultant faces wire fraud charges tied to PPP loan
Robert Burns

Robert Burns
A federal grand jury said Robert Burns used the money on crypto and gambling.

A controversial Brevard County political consultant has been indicted on three counts of wire fraud. Robert Burns was arrested after a grand jury indicted him stemming from claims regarding a Paycheck Protection Program loan application.

In a nine-page federal indictment, prosecutors say Burns sometime before April 2021 “knowingly devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud.”

The intention of the pandemic-era PPP program was to allow employers to keep employees on payroll even when offices had to be closed down. Burns, according to prosecutors, put in three loans and accepted $57,186 in federal funding wired to a bank account.

But rather than paying employees, the indictment said Burns spent large amounts on cryptocurrency and gambling.

Between March 30 and April 13 of 2021, the indictment said Burns took three wire transfers for funds, the reason he now faces three wire fraud charges.

Burns was taken into custody on April 16 but was released the same day on several conditions, including agreeing to provide DNA samples and to report for pretrial services. He also may not travel outside of the Middle District of Florida federal court jurisdiction.

Burns has worked for a number of candidates on the Space Coast from both sides of the aisle, but has drawn controversy for years.

He worked for Marcie Atkins, for example, when the Brevard Republican challenged Rep. Randy Fine in a GOP Primarym but accusations about the consultant created as many headlines as any issue disagreements between Atkins and Fine. During that race, Burns came under fire for antisemitic remarks about Fine.

Through Burns’ Space Coast Rocket blog, he has also through the years attacked Fine and other candidates, sometimes inferring crimes, and in one instance harassing Fine’s mother, claiming to have video of the Representatives with prostitutes.

But it’s Burns now facing criminal charges.

Last year, Federal Election Commission investigators said Burns failed to file months of financial reports for the PAC Friends of Florida, also used funds for gambling, as reported by Florida Today. Burns admitted using some PAC funding for gambling to the newspaper.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 19, 2024 at 2:06 pm

    An anti-Semitical consultant to the G0P grifted PPP money? Say it ain’t so! LOL.

    Udderly predictable

    Whatever government cow actually gave him this money, it’s mostly their fault.

Comments are closed.


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