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Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Top-line estimates of COVID-19 aid fraud are now at $1 trillion making it the largest public fraud in history. And fraudsters like Rami Saab show how easy this has happened. Starting in May 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Saab fraudulently applied for more than $32 million in Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans using shell corporations that he controlled. Fraudsters love to hide in a shell corporation. Fully relying on false information and fabricated documentation supplied by Saab within his twenty applications, the Small Business Administration and private banks administrating the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs granted Saab $9.6 million in emergency-relief funds intended for distressed small businesses.
Using a web of more than fifty otherwise dormant bank accounts, Saab laundered the fraud proceeds to conceal their true nature and source.

According to court records he then used the funds for his own self-enrichment. Self-enrichment can be a process of improving one’s intellectual or spiritual resources. It can also refer to enriching oneself financially. No surprise with Saab, there was no spiritual or intellectual transformation for him.

Saab’s self-enrichment entailed withdrawing large portions of the fraudulent loan proceeds in cash, and transferring sums to associates overseas in Turkey where his friends and family reside. Saab not only stole from hardworking taxpayers but took advantage of a federal program meant to truly help U.S. citizens experiencing tremendous financial difficulties due to the pandemic and sent it overseas for the betterment of non-U.S. citizens.

On March 18, 2024, Saab was sentenced to ten years in prison. As part of his sentence, Saab is also required to pay full restitution.

Excellent job by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in this case.

Today’s Fraud is based on article “Long Islander sentenced in $9.6M COVID-loan fraud scheme” published by the Long Island Business News on March 18, 2024.

A Long Island man has been sentenced in federal court in Central Islip Friday for his “mastermind” role in a $9.6 million COVID-loan fraud scheme, officials said.

Rami Saab, also known as Rami Hasan, who was living in Glen Cove, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for leading a “sprawling conspiracy” to fraudulently secure disaster relief loans during the pandemic, according to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. As part of the sentence he is also required to pay restitution of approximately $9.6 million, officials said.

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