The Federal Government had arrested a 38-year-old man in Southern California named Mustafa Qadiri for misusing $5 million of the federal Covid-19 relief funds. Qadri was arrested last week for scheming to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program of the US government. He was slapped with numerous charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.
Mustafa Qadiri was later released on a $100,000 bond. His trial is scheduled for June 29. He and his lawyer were reportedly unavailable for comment.
According to reports, the accused had fraudulently obtained millions of dollars as a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program of the US government, which the government launched to help small businesses tide over the economic losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
After getting the loan amount, Qadiri used it to buy himself luxury cars like a Ferrari, Bentley and a Lamborghini. Besides, he also used a part of the PPP loan on lavish vacations and other personal expenses.
The prosecutors in the court contended that Qadiri submitted fraudulent loan applications to three banks based on companies that were found to be non-existent. Moreover, the papers he submitted included forged bank records, fake tax returns etc.
According to media reports, Qadiri also used someone else’s name, social security number and signature to apply for one of the loans. Following his arrest, authorities had seized the Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini cars along with the remaining $2 million from his bank accounts.