FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia man joined five other co-conspirators today in pleading guilty to being involved in a $3 million COVID-19 relief fraud scheme.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), 36-year-old Fouzi Darakhshan, of Falls Church, pleaded guilty Tuesday, May 31 to conspiring to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and making false statements on loan applications in connection with COVID-relief loans.
The release from the DOJ said Darakhshan conspired with his brothers and their friends to submit falsified loan applications in order to obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through banks and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through the Small Business Administration.
The group used multiple shell agencies they controlled to apply for the loans, and falsified IRS tax forms to submit to lenders, according to the release.
The DOJ said they submitted at least 63 loan applications, of which 17 were approved.
Combined, the defendants wrongfully obtained over $3 million from the loans.
Foad Darakhshan, 46, of McLean, Haleh Farshi, 44, of Ashburn, Farough Darakhshan, 39, of Great Falls, Shoughi Darakhshan, 30, of McLean, and Marcus Gharib, 29, of Tysons all previously pleaded guilty for their involvement in the conspiracy.
The defendants each face up to five years in prison, full restitution and forfeiture. They are scheduled to be sentenced beginning in July and concluding in September.
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