Newark, NJ-A Florida man appears in court today on charges related to plans to fraudulently obtain more than $ 1.6 million in a Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and his role in payroll payments. To do. Announced by US lawyer Philip R. Selinger.
Mohamed A. Awad, 60, from Ocala, Florida, has been charged with two wire fraud charges. He was arrested in Virginia on July 21, 2022, and first appeared this afternoon in front of Judge William E. Fitzpatrick in the Eastern District of Virginia. He was detained awaiting a transfer to the New Jersey area.
According to the documents presented in the proceedings and the statement made in court:
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Assistance, Relief, and Financial Security) is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, with millions suffering from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to provide urgent financial support to Americans. One of the sources of relief provided by the CARES Act was the approval of up to $ 349 billion in permissible loans for maintaining employment and other costs for SMEs through PPP. PPP allowed SMEs and other eligible organizations to obtain loans for a two-year period and an interest rate of 1%. The proceeds of the PPP loan are used by businesses for salary costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utility bills.
The CARES Act also allows the American Small Business Association to provide up to $ 2 million in EIDL through an economic disaster loan program to qualified small businesses experiencing significant financial turmoil due to the COVID-19 pandemic. did.
Awad participated in a plan to illegally obtain PPP and EIDL loans in excess of $ 1.6 million through numerous false statements to lenders. He falsified employee numbers, falsified business information, and submitted fraudulent loan applications that tricked PPP and EIDL lenders into approving loan applications that were not otherwise approved. Awad has filed a forged tax document to support PPP claims. According to IRS records, none of the tax documents allegedly submitted by Awad were actually submitted to the IRS. Awad transferred loan proceeds between various bank accounts he manages, withdrew large sums of money, and sent at least about $ 760,000 abroad by wire transfer to an Egypt-based bank.
Each complaint is punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years, a fine of up to $ 250,000, or a fine that is twice the greater of the defendant’s total profit or the victim’s total loss.
US lawyer Selinger has certified the IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent under the Deputy Special Agent for Tammy Tomlins. A postal inspector general at the US Postal Inspection Service in Newark under Damon Wood, the inspector in charge of the Philadelphia Division. FBI Special Agent under Special Agent in charge of James E. Denehee of Newark. Special Agent for Social Security Administration, Directorate General of Inspection, and Special Agent for Sharon McDermott. Special Agent in the Inspector General’s Office of the Federal Reserve Board and the Consumer Finance Bureau under Stephen Donnelly in the eastern region. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Special Agent – Inspector General’s office under the Special Agent in charge of Patricia Taraska in New York. The investigation was prosecuted under the direction of Thomas Mahony, a special agent for the Federal Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.
The government is represented by Catherine M. Romano, Assistant US Prosecutor of the Newark US Public Prosecutors Office’s Health Fraud Unit.
If you have information about fraudulent attempts related to COVID-19, please call the Ministry of Justice’s National Disaster Fraud Center hotline (866-720-5721) or NCDF’s online complaint form (https: //). You can report from www.justice). gov / Disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
The accusations and allegations contained in the complaint are naked accusations, and the defendant is presumed not guilty until proved guilty.