A Family Business of Disappointment 

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Male hands counting dollars, black salary, money laundering, illegal business, stock footage

Anthony Zaghab, 52, of Colorado has been charged for unrightfully obtaining COVID relief loans and unemployment insurance.  

 

Zaghab allegedly submitted false Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications. Between April 2020 and February 2021, Zaghab’s fraudulent submissions reached a net worth of $660,000 in payments. (Who said paperwork is a chore with that kind of return?) He also allegedly collected more than $40,000 in unemployment insurance benefits. (Gee, I wonder what he spent all that money on? I’m guessing he spent it on himself.)

 

To obtain the unemployment funds, Zaghab filed for benefits using the identities of ineligible and unknowing family members. (Either he was not very close to these folks and thought they would not notice, or they were in on the deal.)

 

Zaghab controlled or owned many corporate entities and claimed to control or own several others using his own name or his family member’s names. In these claims, Zaghab invented unrealistic numbers of employees, gross revenues, and costs of sold goods. 

 

In addition to these fraudulent claims, Zaghab applied for and collected EIDL payment for a fictitious entity under the name of his deceased father. (I can’t imagine this would have made his father proud. In fact, he’s probably rolling over in his grave.) Zaghab also used the names of other family members to obtain EIDL funds for fictitious entities. 

 

Zaghab’s PPP application was submitted for a fictitious business, “Anthony Zaghab”. (With all of those lies, you would have thought he could come up with a more creative business name.) To support this imaginary business, Zaghab chose false dates of establishment and created a monthly payroll. Overall, he successfully collected $20,833 in PPP loans he did not deserve. Zaghab received another $41,660 in loans because of the application he submitted under his family member’s names. (I’m sure he did not share the wealth.)

 

In total, $41,500 was collected in Colorado Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for ineligible and non-consenting family members, including his mother and sister who don’t even live in the United States. (I bet they wished they lived nearby so they could give their relative a piece of their minds in person.) 

 

Keep in mind that Zaghab’s COVID relief loan and unemployment insurance charges are currently allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  

 

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Denver Man Charged with COVID Relief Loan Fraud,” published on June 17, 2021. 

 

DENVER – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced that Anthony Zaghab, 52, of Denver was arraigned today on charges relating to over $700,000 in fraudulently obtained COVID-relief loans and unemployment insurance.  He has been charged with wire fraud. 

 

According to the allegations contained in an Information filed in federal court, starting in April 2020, Zaghab submitted false and fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) applications and Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) applications to the Small Business Administration and to an approved lender.  By February 2021, he had submitted fraudulent applications that netted him $660,000 worth of payments.  Zaghab also claimed and received over $40,000 in unemployment insurance benefits on behalf of ineligible family members without their knowledge or agreement. 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.