An Ashburn man was sentenced Friday to 12 months in prison and two years on probation for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program, the federal initiative designed to help businesses pay their employees and cover their expenses during the pandemic of COVID-19.
According to court documents, Tarik Jaafar, 43, conspired with his wife, Monika Magdalena Jaworska, from April 13 to May 6, applied for 18 separate PPP loans on behalf of the four shell companies they had created, obtaining around 6, $ 6 million in government support. . They falsely claimed, among other things, that companies have employees and that they need loans to pay their employees’ salaries. They succeeded in getting the banks to distribute about $ 1.4 million in loans that they intended to use for their own benefit.
On June 20, the couple were arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport as they attempted to flee to Poland. The majority of the funds were recovered by the banks and by the police. On August 25, Jaafar pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States.
“In times of national crisis, the federal government has put money aside to help struggling businesses pay their hard-working employees and keep their doors open,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, US District Attorney Eastern Virginia. “Tarik Jaafar planned and executed a ploy to steal money from this vital program. This office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that federal economic aid brings relief to besieged businesses and not profits to underhand criminals. “
“The Paycheck Protection Program was developed to help small businesses in these difficult times,” said Hannibal “Mike” Ware, Inspector General of the Small Business Administration. “Our office will remain relentless in pursuing bad actors who seek to exploit the SBA’s vital economic programs. I would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and commitment to ensuring that justice is served.
“As we have seen in the wake of many disasters and crises, criminals will exploit any opportunity to take advantage of programs designed to help businesses and individuals facing difficulties,” said James A. Dawson, special agent in charge. from the FBI Washington. Criminal Division of the Field Office. “In this case, funds intended to mitigate the effects of the ongoing pandemic have been illegally converted for personal use. Today’s conviction demonstrates the commitment of the FBI and its partners to fighting fraudulent activity. The FBI will continue to investigate the allegations of those who attempt to defraud the government and to withdraw money from those who legitimately need it. “
Federal agents also instructed a Leesburg business owner in another suspected P3 fraud case. This case is pending in the United States District Court.