A Faulty Operation

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Dinesh Sah, 55, of Texas, has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison for submitting 15 fraudulent applications to the forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. (Apparently, the judge was not in a forgiving mood when he lowered his gavel.)

Sah submitted the fake applications in hopes that he would receive $24.8 million in PPP loans from the government. The fake applications were submitted to eight different lenders and filed under the names of purported businesses that he either owned or controlled. (Perhaps by spreading the applications across multiple financial institutions, he thought his multi-million dollar scam would not be detected.)

The applications claimed that Sah had numerous employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll expenses. (But as you might guess, that was not the case.) To support his loan applications, Sah also submitted fictitious documents including forged tax returns and bank statements. (That, my friend, is considered tax fraud.)

The Texas man successfully collected more than $17 million from the PPP loan program. He then used the stolen money to pay off mortgages, buy new homes, and purchase luxury cars. (Neither a Bentley convertible, Corvette Stingray sports car, nor a Porsche Macan SUV can drive Sah out of this case.) He also allegedly shared millions of his profit overseas using international money transfers.

So much for pocketing all that pandemic money meant for Americans who were really suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sah pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud charges and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He must also pay  $17,284,649.79 in restitution. Fortunately, he agreed to forfeit eight homes, six luxury vehicles and more than $9 million in fraudulent proceeds that the government has already seized. (“Easy come, easy go” so they say.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Texas Man Gets 11 Years for $24 Million Worth of Fraudulent COVID-19 Relief Claims,” published by Newsweek on July 28, 2021.

A Texas man was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison on Wednesday after making a series of false claims in an attempt to fraudulently obtain $24.8 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

U.S. District Judge Karen Gren Scholer handed 55-year-old Dinesh Sah the sentence and an order to pay $17,284,649.79 in restitution on Wednesday, just over four months after he pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud charges, according to the Department of Justice. PPP loans were introduced as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and, unlike most other loans, can be fully forgiven under certain conditions.

 

 

 

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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.