Indian Engineer Charged in Texas with COVID-Relief Fraud

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Indian Engineer in Texas Fraudulently Sought More than $10 Million in CARES Act SBA Paycheck Protection Loans

An Indian engineer in the eastern district of Texas has been accused of allegedly filing bank loan applications for fraudulent loans in excess of $ 10 million by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Aid, Aid and Financial Aid Act Corona virus (CARES) was guaranteed.

Shashank Rai, 30, of Beaumont, Texas, allegedly searched two different banks for unsuccessful SBA-guaranteed loans in the millions and claimed that 250 employees earned wages when no employee actually worked for his alleged business.

A federal federal criminal complaint accuses Rai of violations of wire fraud, bank fraud, false statements to a financial institution, and false statements to the SBA.

“As alleged, Rai fraudulently pursued millions of dollars in legitimate small businesses suffering from the economic difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Deputy Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Department of Justice Department of Criminal Justice. “The department and our law enforcement partners will remain vigilant to protect the critical CARES law programs from fraud and abuse.”

“The behavior in this case was very obvious,” said US attorney Joseph D. Brown of the Eastern District of Texas. “Those who submit these loan applications or other assistance must understand that there are people who review the statements made, and these representations are made under oath and are subject to perjury penalty. Federal agencies are on the lookout for fraud, and people who lie and try to outsmart the system are caught and prosecuted. ”

“To support small and local banks, federal mortgage lenders can accept Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans as collateral when they lend to their members,” said Richard Parker, deputy inspector general for the Office of the Federal Housing Agency. of the Inspector General. “The Inspector General’s Office is proud to work with our law enforcement partners to prevent, detect, and prevent attempts to fraud in the Federal Home Loan System and to steal support for small business owners and employees in this important part of the CARES law.”

“Today’s charges hold the defendant responsible for his actions in which he has cheated out money from a federal program designed to help those in need during a pandemic crisis,” said Inspector General Jay N. Lerner of the Federal Insurance Corporation Inspectorate. of Deposits (FDIC OIG) “If a person cheats on the paycheck protection program with money, he robbed working and earned Americans of small businesses. FDIC OIG is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to investigate financial crimes and maintain the integrity of the country’s banking sector. ”

“SBA OIG and its law enforcement partners will aggressively investigate paycheck fraud fraud,” said SBA Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware. “The country’s small businesses have this program and we will protect it to maintain public confidence. I want to thank the US attorney. USA and our law enforcement partners for their commitment and pursuit of justice. ”

“While the government is trying to help small businesses, fraudsters are trying to help themselves,” said Criminal Investigations Group’s chief inspector Delany De Leon-Colon. “Postal inspectors are proud to work with the Department of Justice and our other law enforcement partners to identify and investigate anyone who is exploiting this pandemic to commit fraud. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service. USA It is committed to protecting small business owners and the American public from those who want to cause financial damage. ”

According to court records released today at the U.S. District Court. USA In Beaumont, Rai allegedly made two fraudulent claims against two different lenders to apply for SBA-guaranteed loans for the PPP COVID-19 relief. In the application submitted to the first lender, Rai allegedly applied for $ 10 million PPP loan by fraudulently claiming that he had 250 employees with an average monthly payroll of $ 4 million. In the second request, Rai allegedly applied for approximately $ 3 million in PPP loans by fraudulently claiming that he had 250 employees with a monthly paycheck.

Source: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/engineer-charged-texas-covid-relief-fraud.