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Posted on: Monday, 29 March 2021
Texas man pleads guilty to $24.8 million PPP loan scheme involving luxury cars
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Federal investigators didn't mince words when a Texas man admitted to using COVID-19 relief funds for lavish expenditures, including a Bentley Convertible, Porsche Macan and Corvette Stingray.

Coppell native Dinesh Sah, 55, pleaded guilty to orchestrating a $24.8 million PPP scam that used small business loans to purchase opulent homes and expensive cars, according to the Department of Justice.

"As the nation was crippled by a global pandemic, Sah fraudulently obtained over $17 million in PPP funds intended to help legitimate small businesses and spent that money on luxury cars and multiple homes,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division stated in response to the case.

In order to get control of millions in PPP loans, Sah submitted 15 fraudulent applications filed under different names of businesses he owned or controlled, according to the Justice Department. Through eight separate lenders, Sah managed to obtain $24.8 million in PPP loans by misrepresenting the number of employees on his payroll and amount of expenses therein. Investigators eventually discovered the incongruities on Sah's applications, the Justice Department stated.

"The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to aid struggling business owners, not to line the pockets of crafty profiteers,"  U.S. attorney Prerak Shah of the Northern District of Texas stated. “Even as fellow businesspeople tried desperately to procure the funds they needed to keep their business afloat, Sah dipped into federal coffers to fund his lavish lifestyle. The Justice Department is committed to protecting the PPP from fraud and deceit.”

When federal investigators unraveled the scheme, Sah further admitted that he received over $17 million in PPP loans and then used the proceeds to buy multiple homes in Texas, pay off mortgages and buy a fleet of luxury cars. Sah then sent millions of dollars in PPP proceeds via international money transfers. As a part of his guilty plea, Sah agreed to forfeit eight homes, several luxury cars and more than $7.2 million in fraudulent proceeds.

"Sah’s egregious fraud committed to fund his luxurious lifestyle is unacceptable under any circumstances, but especially so when done against a program designed to help Americans recover from the ongoing pandemic," Special Agent in Charge Anand M. Ramlall of FDIC-OIG added.

Sah ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. A date has not yet been set for his sentencing. Sah faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.

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