An Irvine man was arrested on Monday on fraud charges after authorities said he used $ 5 million in pandemic relief loans to buy luxury sports cars, take lavish vacations and cover his personal expenses.
Mustafa Qadiri, 38, has filed bogus federal loan applications under the paycheck protection program on behalf of four Newport Beach companies he allegedly ran, federal prosecutors said. Neither of them are currently in business, they said.
Federal agents have seized Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini sports cars that Qadiri bought with the loan money, along with $ 2 million from his bank accounts, according to the Santa Ana District Attorney.
Qadiri has been charged by a federal grand jury in four bank fraud cases, four wire transfer fraud cases, six money laundering cases and one aggravated identity theft case.
His lawyer, Bilal Essayli, could not be reached for comment.
Qadiri’s arrest is the latest example of rampant fraud that has plagued federal programs to alleviate the economic hardship caused by the pandemic. In California alone, officials have confirmed illegal jobless claims of at least $ 11 billion – a number that is projected to increase by billions of dollars.
In March 2020, Congress launched the PPP loan program to provide emergency aid to small businesses. The loans that are designed to prevent layoffs can be used for payroll, rent, mortgage payments, or utility bills – but not for personal expenses.
According to the indictment, Qadiri secured loans to two mortgage companies, All American Lending and All American Capital Holdings, and to two advertising agencies, RadMediaLab and Ad Blot.
His loan applications inflated the number of his employees and changed the bank records of companies with excessive balances, according to the indictment of the grand jury. Qadiri also submitted fictitious federal tax returns to the banks that processed the loans, the indictment said, and falsely certified that he would use the money for business purposes.