Texas Man Sentenced to 11 Years for $24M COVID-19 Relief Fraud Scheme

According to reports, a Texas man was recently sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money-laundering offenses in connection with his fraudulent scheme to obtain roughly $24 million in PPP loans.

Dinesh Sah, 55, pleaded guilty back in March and was sentenced on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Karen Gren Scholer also ordered Sah to pay $17,284,649.79 in restitution.

Court documents state Sah submitted 15 fraudulent applications from various businesses he oversaw. Sah’s applications showed the businesses supposedly had hundreds of employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll expenses. Moreover, Sah fabricated tax filings and bank statements and listed others as authorized representatives of these fake businesses without their consent.

“Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program to help struggling businesses stay afloat, not to fund faux entrepreneurs’ luxury lifestyles,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “Even as COVID-19 devastated companies around the nation, Mr. Sah sapped millions of dollars from the relief fund that could have helped them. He exploited the pandemic for personal gain, and we are proud to hold him accountable.”

“Today’s sentence serves as a clear reminder that individuals who exploit COVID-relief programs to enrich themselves will be held accountable under the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. “The Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners remain committed to aggressively pursuing and bringing to justice those who steal federal funds intended to help legitimate small businesses.”

 

Source: justice.gov

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