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Indian American Businessman in Texas Pleads Guilty to $24.8 million Covid-Relief Fraud Scheme

Indian American Businessman in Texas Pleads Guilty to $24.8 million Covid-Relief Fraud Scheme

  • Dinesh Sah used money from Paycheck Protection Program to buy cars, and pay off mortgages.

An Indian-American businessman from Coppell, Texas, Dinesh Sah, pleaded guilty last month to orchestrating a fraudulent scheme to obtain approximately $24.8 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and laundering the proceeds, using the money to buy luxury cars and homes., the U.S. Department of Justice said in a March 24 press release

According to court documents, the 55-year-old Sah admitted that he submitted 15 fraudulent applications to obtain approximately $24.8 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and laundering the proceeds. The Coppell businessman filed those under the names of various purported businesses that he owned or controlled, to eight different lenders.

Sah claimed that these businesses had numerous employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll expenses when, in fact, no business had employees or paid wages consistent with the amounts claimed in the PPP applications, they stated.

Authorities said Sah also used fake tax filings and bank statements in support of his applications. Sah received over $17 million in PPP loan money and used it to buy multiple homes in Texas and pay off the mortgages on other homes in California. He even purchased several luxury cars, including a Bentley convertible, a Corvette Stingray, and a Porsche Macan. Sah also sent millions in international money transfers.

“The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to aid struggling business owners, not to line the pockets of crafty profiteers,” said acting U.S. attorney Prerak Shah of the Northern District of Texas said in the press release. “Even as fellow businesspeople tried desperately to procure the funds they needed to keep their business afloat, Sah dipped into federal coffers to fund his lavish lifestyle.” 

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Sah pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. As part of his guilty plea, Sah agreed to forfeit, among other property, eight homes, the luxury vehicles and more than $7.2 million in fraudulent proceeds that the government has seized to date.

A date for his sentencing has not yet been scheduled. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

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