Pakistani American busines man arrested & facing federal charges for allegedly scamming the government out of $1.5 million in COVID-19 PPP grant program
By Raja Zahid A Khanzada
Dallas: Federal Investigation Agency has arrested Fahad Shah, a local Pakistani American businessman, on charges of fraud of three million dollars in Employees Payment Protection Program offered by Small Business Administration. According to details the owner of local business “Weddings by Farah” applied and received Federal Government loan through SBA which was earmarked for small businesses for protection of their employees during Coronavirus Pandemic. Fahad Shah is arrested in Federal charges of fraud and money laundering. He can face ten years imprisonment If charges are proven.
As per details Federal agents arrested Pakistani American businessman Fahad Shah on Tuesday morning on charges of fraud and money laundering. He was presented to a U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine A. Nowak of the Eastern District of Texas.
The indictment alleges Shah submitted fraudulent applications for more $3 million in PPP loans to two different SBA-approved lenders filed under the name of WBF Weddings by Farah Inc.
Details of Federal charges against Mr. Shah shows that his company Farah Incorporated had two DBAs for Wedding and event related businesses, had applied for three million dollars in the PPP loan program. The loan application showed 120 people employed by two DBAs under Farah Incorporated, even though no one had been working for these companies. These charges include production of fraudulent documents and of money laundering through which Mr. Shah acquired $1.5 million as initial payments from SBA lender. He used this money for his personal usage, as he bought a luxury sixty thousand dollars to buy a Tesla car and used money to pay off his personal residence, he invested some of the money as well. He deposited $500k in an E*TRADE account from which he paid off his residence.
Fahad Shahs company was out of status for nonpayment of tax since 2018.
US Attorney for Eastern Texas Stephen Cox has said to local media that this is the third case that is caught, and people involved are indicted in defrauding the SBA loan program.
According to Justice Department Fahad Shah had asked for PPP funds for 126 employees were given $1,592,657. He allegedly kept all the money for himself and his personal expenses.
Department of Justice has started crackdown against frauds in Federal payment programs for Coronavirus affected businesses. Meanwhile, JagoTimes correspondent call to Fahad Shah was not returned.
Serious allegations are charged to Fahad Shah, if convicted with a possibility of up to thirty years in prison.
As COVID-19 shutdowns went into effect across the US, small businesses scrambled to get a share of the nearly $700 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans provided by the federal government. US Congress has allocated $700 Billion to help businesses in distress due to Corona Virus.
Moreover Fahad Shah is originally from Hyderabad Sindh ( Pakistan ) and has worked in decorating in many of musical concerts and public programs from Pakistani community in DFW area. Pakistani American community has expressed sorrow and concern on this news.