Federal prosecutors on Thursday (Oct. 8) charged a Dallas-area man with allegedly playing a role in a scheme that sought to fraudulently obtain $24.8 million in federal Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) funds, which are backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Dinesh Sah, 55, of Coppell, Texas, was charged with three counts of wire fraud, three counts of bank fraud and one count of money laundering.
Announcing the charges, the Justice Department wrote: “The indictment alleges that Sah submitted 15 fraudulent applications, filed under the names of various purported businesses that he owned or controlled, to eight different SBA-approved lenders seeking approximately $24.8 million in PPP loans. In his applications, Sah claimed that these businesses had numerous employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll expenses when, in fact, no business had employees or paid wages consistent with the amounts claimed in the PPP applications.
“The indictment further alleges that Sah submitted fraudulent documentation in support of his applications, including falsified federal tax filings and forged bank statements for the purported businesses. Sah ultimately received approximately $17.3 million in PPP loan funds and used the proceeds primarily for personal expenses, spending them on multiple homes and luxury cars, including a 2020 Bentley convertible, and sending millions of dollars in international transfers.”
The government says it has seized $6.5 million in “fraudulent proceeds” from Sah.
Sah was initially charged in a sealed complaint, arrested and ordered detained until trial, according to federal court records for the Northern District of Texas, where the case has been brought. The federal public defender assigned to represent Mr. Sah in the matter declined to comment when contacted by PYMNTS.
The CARES Act was enacted in March 29, 2020, with the stated goal of providing economic relief to companies and other organizations that avoided laying off workers.