Member of $3 million COVID-19 loan fraud conspiracy convicted | USAO-EDVA

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A McLean man was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy that involved submitting at least 63 fraudulent loan applications for COVID-19 pandemic relief funds. 19 to which he and his co-defendants were not entitled.

According to court documents, between April and December 2020, Foad “David” Darakhshan, 47, conspired with his girlfriend, Haleh Farshi, 44, of Ashburn, and her brothers and their friends to submit forged loan applications. to obtain Paycheck Protection Program Loans (PPP) through banks and Economic Disaster Loans (EIDL) through the Small Business Administration. The defendants used several shell entities they controlled to apply for PPPs and EIDLs and falsified IRS tax forms submitted to lenders. They engaged in a WhatsApp group chat devoted to carrying out the fraud scheme, openly discussing the falsification of documents and inflating employee counts, company revenue and payroll figures in order to encourage lenders to grant loans.

In total, the defendants wrongfully obtained more than $3 million in loan proceeds. They submitted at least 63 loan applications, of which 17 were approved, the rest were denied. Foad Darakhshan has received over $1.5 million from the program’s overall proceeds. The group used the proceeds to invest in the stock market, finance a house building project, travel to Cancún, buy a vehicle and pay for other personal expenses.

The US government has recovered more than $1 million of the program’s total proceeds through seizure warrants, and Foad Darakhshan is ordered to pay full restitution.

Haleh Farshi; Farough Darakhshan, 39, from Great Falls; Fouzi Darakhshan, 36, from Falls Church; Shoughi Darakhshan, 30, of McLean; and Marcus Gharib, 29, of Tysons, have all previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the plot. They must be condemned between July and September.

Jessica D. Aber, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Wayne A. Jacobs, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office criminal division; and Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite, Eastern Region Special Agent for Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG), made the announcement following the sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.

Assistant US Attorney Russell L. Carlberg prosecuted the case with the help of the Asset Recovery Unit.

A copy of this press release can be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia website or on PACER by searching for Case #1: 21-cr-267.

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