This is Just Right!

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

”Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is a story about a little girl, Goldilocks, who is looking for more in life. One day, she stumbles onto the home of the three bears. She tries out three bowls of porridge, three chairs, and three beds before finding one of each that fits her perfectly. Usually, it was the biggest item that fit her just right where she would claim, “This is just right!” Well, same for Alexander Barabash.

Alexander Barabash was the sole owner and CEO of a iDesignBuild, a company in Baltimore. He was the only employee of this construction company and utilized contractors to complete projects. Barabash started small with his first foray into fraud in April 2020. Barabash submitted his first Paycheck Protection Program loan application falsely stating that iDesignBuild had four employees and an average monthly payroll of $18,750. (This is just not right!)

Finding it easy to fraudulently obtain funds from PPP, Barabash submitted a second fraudulent PPP loan application on April 25, 2020 on behalf of iDesignBuild, stating that the company had seven employees and an average monthly payroll of $38,777.60. (This is still not right!)

On January 20, 2021, Barabash submitted a third fraudulent loan application on behalf of iDesignBuild, representing that the company had 37 employees and an average monthly payroll of $525,227. Compared to the fraudulent forms submitted with the unsuccessful April 25, 2020 PPP loan application, the forms submitted in January 2021 reported more than six times the number of employees and nearly $1.5 million more in wages in each quarter. (This is just right!) Based on Barabash’s false representations, the bank approved PPP loans of more than $1.2 million. Being the only employee of iDesignBuild, Barabash spent every penny on himself.

The ending for Goldilocks is heartwarming – as the bears forgive her after she learns her lesson and befriend her rather than turning her into their supper. Not sure this will happen for Barabash. On March 27, 2023, Barabash pled guilty to PPP fraud.

Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Charge For Fraudulently Obtaining More Than $1.2 Million In COVID-19 CARES Act Loans” published by Shore News on March 27, 2023

On Friday, Baltimore man Alexander Barabash, 52, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in relation to submitting fraudulent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act loan applications. Barabash fraudulently obtained over $1.2 million in CARES Act loans intended for struggling businesses.

Between April 2020 and January 2021, he submitted three fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications on behalf of his construction company, iDesignbuild LLC. The fraudulent applications contained false information about the number of employees and the company’s payroll. Barabash used the loans to buy two properties in Sparks Glencoe, Maryland, and a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette.


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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.