A Fairfax County, Virginia, man was sentenced to almost three years in prison for his role in a $3 million COVID-19 loan fraud conspiracy.
Foad “David” Darakhshan, 47, was sentenced to 33 months in prison for his part in the conspiracy that involved submitting at least 63 fraudulent loan applications to get additional funding he did not qualify for, according to a Justice Department news release.
According to court documents, between April and December of 2020, Darakhshan conspired with his girlfriend, Haleh Farshi, 44, of Ashburn, along 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.
Darakhshan received more than $1.5 million of the overall money from the scheme, according to the news release.
The group used “multiple shell entities” that they controlled to apply for the loans as well as falsifying IRS tax forms, the Justice Department said.
They also were part of a WhatsApp chat that was dedicated to fraud schemes and “openly” discussed falsifying documents and inflating the numbers of employees and other business dealings to secure the loans, according to the news release.
They got a total of more than $3 million in the loan funding from at least 63 applications, with 17 of those applications approved.
The group used the proceeds to invest in the stock market, fund a home construction project, travel to Cancun, purchase a vehicle, and pay for other personal expenses, according to the Justice Department.
Over $1 million of the total scheme proceeds obtained through the fraud were recovered by the U.S. government, and Foad Darakhshan is ordered to pay full restitution, according to the news release.
Haleh Farshi; Farough Darakhshan, 39, of Great Falls; Fouzi Darakhshan, 36, of Falls Church; Shoughi Darakhshan, 30, of McLean; and Marcus Gharib, 29, of Tysons, all previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and they are scheduled to be sentenced between July and September.