Senior Washington Tech Executive Sentenced Over Covid-19 Relief Fraud Program | Takeover bid
A Washington state tech executive was sentenced today in the Western Washington District to two years in prison for perpetrating a scheme to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 disaster relief loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the Economic Damage Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security).
Mukund Mohan, 48, of Clyde Hill, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges on March 15. According to court documents, Mohan has requested more than $ 5.5 million in eight fraudulent disaster loan applications. In support of the fraudulent loan applications, Mohan submitted false and altered documents, including false federal income tax returns and amended incorporation documents. For example, Mohan falsely told a lender that in 2019 his company Mahenjo Inc. had dozens of employees and paid millions of dollars in salaries and payroll taxes. In support of Mahenjo’s loan application, Mohan submitted false incorporation documents and tax forms suggesting that the company was in business before 2020. In truth, Mohan bought Mahenjo in May 2020 and at the time he did so. bought the company, it had no employees and no business activity. The incorporation documents he submitted to the lender were changed and the federal income tax returns he submitted were false. Five of Mohan’s eight fraudulent loan applications were approved, and he fraudulently secured nearly $ 1.8 million in COVID-19 relief funds.
In addition to the jail term, Mohan was ordered to pay a fine of $ 100,000 and $ 1,786,357 in restitution.
Deputy Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice; Acting US attorney Tessa M. Gorman for the Western District of Washington; Special Agent in Charge Jay Johnson of the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA-OIG); Special Agent ad interim in charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Corinne Kalve; Inspector General J. Russell George of the United States Inspector General of the Treasury for Tax Administration (TIGTA); and Inspector General Jay N. Lerner of the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC-OIG), made the announcement.
This case was investigated by the FHFA-OIG, IRS-CI, TIGTA and FDIC-OIG.
Prosecutor Christopher Fenton of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Friedman of the Western District of Washington are continuing the case.
The Fraud Section leads the ministry’s prosecution of fraud schemes that exploit the PPP. In the months following the start of the PPP, Fraud Section lawyers prosecuted more than 100 defendants in more than 70 criminal cases. The Fraud Section also seized over $ 65 million in cash proceeds from fraudulently obtained PPP funds, as well as numerous real estate and luxury items purchased with these products. For more information, visit: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/ppp-fraud.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General created the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Working Group to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with government agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent the pandemic fraud. The Working Group strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable national and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by scaling up and integrating mechanisms coordination, identifying resources and techniques for uncovering fraudulent actors and their programs, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720 -5721 or via the NCDF web complaint form at: https: // www. .justice.gov / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.