Two men and women pleaded responsible right now in the Southern District of Texas for their participation in a plan to fraudulently attain and launder thousands and thousands of dollars in forgivable Paycheck Defense System (PPP) financial loans assured by the Modest Company Administration (SBA) underneath the Coronavirus Aid, Reduction, and Financial Protection Act.
In accordance to court documents, Siddiq Azeemuddin, 42, of Naperville, Illinois, and Raheel Malik, 41, of Sugar Land, Texas, engaged in a scheme to defraud the SBA and particular SBA-accredited PPP lenders by publishing bogus and fraudulent PPP mortgage applications. Azeemuddin and Malik also conspired to and did launder around $3 million in PPP mortgage money by means of Azeemuddin’s company, Fascare Worldwide Inc., dba Almeda Discount Retail outlet (Almeda). As part of the scheme, Azeemuddin instructed Malik to fill out blank checks from businesses that gained PPP financial loans by placing the names of pretend workers in the payee line. At Azeemuddin’s course, Malik then cashed the checks at a money institution and then transported the hard cash to other customers of the conspiracy. In exchange for laundering the resources, Azeemuddin obtained 1% to 2% of each individual check out cashed.
Azeemuddin pleaded responsible to a single depend of conspiracy to dedicate wire fraud and 1 count of funds laundering. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2022, and faces a most full penalty of 40 years in jail. Malik pleaded guilty to 1 rely of conspiracy to dedicate wire fraud and funds laundering. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2022, and faces a most penalty of five decades in jail. A federal district court docket judge will identify any sentence following considering the U.S. Sentencing Rules and other statutory variables.
Assistant Attorney Common Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Felony Division Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery for the Southern District of Texas Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware of the SBA–Office of Inspector Standard (SBA-OIG) Specific Agent in Cost Catherine Huber of the Federal Housing Finance Agency–Office of Inspector Normal (FHFA-OIG) Particular Agent in Cost Mark B. Dawson of Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) Houston Inspector Standard Jay N. Lerner of the Federal Deposit Insurance policy Corporation–Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG) and Inspector Normal J. Russell George of the Treasury Inspector Common for Tax Administration (TIGTA) produced the announcement.
The SBA-OIG, FHFA-OIG, HSI, FDIC-OIG, and TIGTA are investigating the scenario.
Demo Attorneys Louis Manzo and Della Sentilles of the Legal Division’s Fraud Segment and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rodolfo Ramirez and Kristine Rollinson of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.
On Might 17, 2021, the Lawyer Basic established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Activity Pressure to marshal the methods of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across governing administration to greatly enhance initiatives to battle and avoid pandemic-similar fraud. The Job Pressure bolsters efforts to examine and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international felony actors and helps organizations tasked with administering relief systems to protect against fraud by, among the other solutions, augmenting and incorporating current coordination mechanisms, identifying sources and procedures to uncover fraudulent actors and their strategies, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement endeavours. For extra information on the department’s reaction to the pandemic, be sure to visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Any one with information and facts about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Division of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the NCDF World wide web Criticism Form at https://www.justice.gov/catastrophe-fraud/ncdf-disaster-criticism-kind.