The authorities gave him $1.5 million in COVID-19 paycheck loans. Prosecutors reveal he spent it on a Tesla.

A Texas man is facing federal charges for allegedly scamming the authorities out of $1.5 million in COVID-19 payroll grants and the usage of it to seize a Tesla.In an indictment unsealed on Tuesday, Fahad Shah is accused of lying regarding the fashion of workers at a reputedly defunct wedding ceremony planning firm he owned in sigh to fraudulently receive Paycheck Protection Program grants.Shah spent $60,000 of the payroll grants on a Tesla, and place extra than $500,000 in his E-Alternate legend, essentially essentially based on the indictment. He has been arrested and charged with wire fraud.The Department of Justice has been cracking down on PPP fraud in the previous week. The federal authorities before every thing refused to sigh a listing of PPP recipients however reversed that call this month after it used to be sued by a community of news retailers.Consult with Business Insider’s homepage for extra reports.

As COVID-19 shutdowns went into raise out at some level of the US, tiny businesses scrambled to procure a portion of the virtually $700 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans supplied by the federal authorities.Regarded as one of those tiny enterprise owners used to be Fahad Shah of Murphy, Texas. Shah used to be awarded extra than $1.5 million in PPP loans to disguise the salaries of his 126 workers in May possibly well well simply. But essentially essentially based on a federal indictment unsealed Monday, those workers didn’t exist — as an alternative, Shah is accused of pocketing the money and the usage of it on private costs, including a brand new $60,000 Tesla.Shah used to be arrested Monday and charged with wire fraud, criminal transactions, and making unsuitable statements to a bank. He’ll be tried in the Eastern District of Texas and faces as much as 30 years in penal complex if convicted. Shah is the third particular person to be charged with fraud connected to PPP loans in the Eastern District of Texas this year, US Attorney Stephen Cox mentioned in a press unencumber to Business Insider.”The Paycheck Protection Program is a fundamental instrument for American tiny businesses and their workers who are combating the business fallout from this pandemic.  The Eastern District of Texas is committed to pursuing fraudsters who exploit this program to the detriment of others,” Cox mentioned.

Shah instructed the federal authorities that his firm, Weddings by Farrah, wanted PPP loans for its 126 workers, essentially essentially based on the indictment. He used to be before every thing authorized for the loans in May possibly well well simply and used to be granted $1,592,657. But essentially essentially based on prosecutors, Weddings by Farrah hadn’t been in operation since 2018, when it used to be shut down for failing to pay taxes.As an different, Shah allegedly saved the money, depositing extra than $500,000 in an E-Alternate legend. He moreover spent $60,000 of the PPP money on a “car from Tesla,” essentially essentially based on the indictment.The Miniature Business Administration, which oversees PPP, has come beneath fire from lawmakers and businesses owners for sloppy handling of COVID-19 reduction funds in contemporary months. The agency before every thing refused to sigh a listing of PPP recipients, however reversed that call closing week after blowback from media retailers who threatened to file an originate files lawsuit. Within the intervening time, the Department of Justice has started cracking down on businesses who allegedly defrauded the authorities to siphon PPP money.Shah would possibly possibly possibly also no longer be staunch now reached for comment. Weddings by Farrah did no longer staunch now reply to an emailed rely on for comment.LoadingSomething is loading.

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