IRVINE – A southern California man pleaded guilty to receiving $ 5 million in coronavirus aid loans to fake companies and then using the money on lavish vacations and buying a Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini, prosecutors said on Monday with.
38-year-old Mustafa Qadiri was arrested last week on suspicion of fraud in the Paycheck Protection Program, which was launched last year to help small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Qadiri, of Irvine, pleaded not guilty on Friday for several charges including bank fraud, wire transfer fraud, exacerbated identity theft and money laundering, according to US prosecutors. Qadiri’s lawyer, Bilal A. Essayli, declined to comment on Monday.
Prosecutors said Qadiri filed fraudulent PPP loan applications with three banks on behalf of four companies that actually didn’t exist. According to the indictment, the applications contained altered bank records, falsified tax returns and false information about employees.
Qadiri also used someone else’s name, social security number and signature to fraudulently apply for one of the loans, prosecutors said.
He received $ 5 million in loans that investigators said they had used on travel, sports cars, and personal expenses.
Federal agents have seized the Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini cars Qadiri bought along with about $ 2 million from his bank accounts, prosecutors said.
US District Judge Josephine L. Staton scheduled a trial on June 29. Qadiri was released for a $ 100,000 loan.