An Indian-origin engineer in the US has been accused of committing more than US $ 10 million in debt fraud under the Coronovirus Relief Program to help small businesses.
The 30-year-old Shashank Rai had allegedly demanded millions of dollars in loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Virus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CAR) Act, with 250 employees from two different banks. It was claimed to get salary. In fact, none of the employees worked for their alleged occupation.
Mr. Rai, who lives in Texas, is charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, false statements from a financial institution and false statements from the SBA.
Assistant Attorney General Brian Benzkowski of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice said, “As Mr. Rai fraudulently took a multi-million dollar loan to legitimate small businesses struggling with the economic strain of the COVID-19 epidemic.”
US Attorney Joseph Brown of the Eastern District of Texas described Mr Rai’s behavior as “very pithy”, adding that those who submit these applications for loans or other assistance need to understand that the representations made People are investigating, and those representations have been made under oath and under penalty of punishment.
“Federal agencies are watching for fraud, and those who lie and try to cheat the system can be caught and prosecuted.”
Inspector General Jay Lerner of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation of Inspector General (FDIC OIG) said Mr. Rai is responsible for his actions, which “swipe funds out of a federal program to help needy people during an epidemic crisis.” do”.
“When a person makes a paycheck protection program out of money, it deprives hard-working Americans and deserves small businesses,” Mr. Lerner said.
According to court documents in U.S. district court in Beaumont on Wednesday, Mr. Rai allegedly colluded with two different lenders to take loans guaranteed by the SBA for COVID-19 relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Made two fraudulent claims.
In an application submitted to First Lender, Mr Rai allegedly demanded USD 10 million in PPP loan proceeds, claiming fraud with an average monthly payroll of USD 4 million to 250 employees.
In the second application, he allegedly sought approximately US $ 3 million in PPP loan income by claiming to have 250 employees with an average monthly payroll of approximately US $ 1.2 million.
According to court documents, the Texas Workforce Commission gave investigators information that no record of employee salaries has been paid in 2020 by Mr. Rai or his alleged occupation, Rai Family LLC.
In addition, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s Office of Texas told investigators that Mr. Rai Family LLC did not provide any revenue for the fourth quarter of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020.
Materials recovered from the litter outside Mr Rai’s residence included handwritten notes reflecting an investment strategy for US $ 3 million, money allegedly sought from another lender.
The CARES Act is a federal law enacted in March this year and is intended to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are experiencing the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.
One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was authorization of up to US $ 349 billion in loans eligible for job retention and certain other expenses to small businesses through PPP.
In April 2020, Congress authorized over US $ 300 billion in additional PPP funding.