This article reads like 41-year-old Blimp owner Patrick Walsh is playing stupid with the Court. The guy bought an island in Mexico and a cabin in Jackson Hole with nearly $8 million fraudulently taken from the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Programs. I can only picture him doing his best Steve Urkle with a cute: "Did I do that?"
Executive Patrick P. Walsh, 41, of Williston, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering at the federal courthouse in Gainesville two weeks ago. The judge allowed him to remain free until he is sentenced at the end of January.
Among other expenses, Walsh used some of the money to buy a private two-acre island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Yankeetown, prosecutors said. He also put a downpayment on a luxury ski lodge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and paid off the 78-acre farm where he lives south of Gainesville, according to court records.
Despite his plea and court records with his signature spelling out the fraud, Walsh said in a phone interview Tuesday night he did not believe he was committing a crime. He said he made risky and aggressive business decisions that he now admits were "idiotic."
He acknowledged he should have relied on experienced consultants to help with his loan applications instead of taking what he called "unnecessary risks" with poor strategy.