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Richmond Man Convicted for Multimillion-Dollar COVID-19 Relief Fraud

(RICHMOND) - A federal jury convicted a Texas man today for his role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain and launder millions of dollars in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Abdul Fatani, 57, conspired with others to submit fraudulent PPP loan applications by falsifying the number of employees and the average monthly payroll expenses of the applicant businesses. In total, the co-conspirators sought more than $35 million through more than 80 fraudulent PPP loans. Fatani distributed more than $500,000 in fraudulent loan proceeds to his co-conspirators and himself using bogus payroll checks and laundered a portion of the proceeds by transferring the funds from one of his bank accounts to another bank account he controlled.

Fatani was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of unlawful monetary transactions (money laundering). He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for conspiracy and wire fraud and 10 years in prison for money laundering. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


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