Texas wedding planner sentenced after abusing more than $ 1.5 million in PPP loan money, says federal government

WASHINGTON – A Texas man was sentenced Thursday to 31 months in jail and three years on probation for committing a scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $ 3.3 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program guaranteed by the Small Business Administration as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the US Department of Justice announced Thursday.

According to court documents, Fahad Shah, 45, of Murphy, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, requested about $ 3.3 million in PPP funds claiming that the family business, WBF Weddings by Farah Inc., employed more than 100 people and paid millions of dollars in compensation to those employees.

The company, according to the DOJ, actually had no employees other than Shah and his wife. Based on Shah’s false statements and falsified documents, an SBA-approved lender has provided more than $ 1.5 million in PPP loan funds to Shah, the DOJ said in a press release.

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Federal officials say Shah then used the funds for personal gain contrary to the terms of the program, paying off his mortgage and buying two Tesla and a Mercedes, among other unspecified items.

Trial attorney Della Sentilles and Louis Manzo of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Coan and Bob Wells of the Eastern District of Texas continued the case.

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 Enforcement (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF online complaint form here.

Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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