Indian-origin IT executive sentenced to 2 years for $1.8 million COVID fraud

A 48-year-old Indian-origin IT executive in the United States has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for fraudulently obtaining approximately USD 1.8 million in federal COVID-19 disaster relief loans. The US Department of Justice said that Mukund Mohan of Clyde Hill in Washington state pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and wire fraud on March 15.

Mohan, who had worked at Microsoft and Amazon before, falsified employment documents to receive loans fraudulently through the government’s Paycheck Protection Programme for firms and companies he purportedly ran. The IT executive applied for $5.5 million in loans with fraudulently acquired altered documents and received about USD 1.8 million before being arrested in July 2020.

The IT executive was sentenced on Tuesday in the Western District of Washington to 2 years in prison. The accused has sought over USD 5.5 million through eight fraudulent disaster loan applications, according to court documents. Mohan submitted fake and altered documents supporting the fraudulent loan application, including fake federal tax filings.

The Indian-origin IT executive also misrepresented to a lender that, in 2019, his company named Mahenjo Inc had dozens of staff, employees and paid millions of dollars in employee wages and payroll taxes, the Justice Department said. In support of Mahenjo’s loan application, he submitted false tax forms and incorporation documents suggesting that the company had been in business before the year 2020. In reality, Mohan purchased Mahenjo in May 2020. At the time he bought the company, it had zero employees and no business activity.

The incorporation documents he submitted to the lender were altered, and the federal tax filings were fake. Five of the sentenced IT Executive’s eight fraudulent loan applications were approved, and he fraudulently obtained approximately USD 1.8 million in COVID-19 relief funds. In addition to serving the prison sentence, Mohan was also ordered to pay a fine of USD 100,000 and $ 1,786,357 in restitution.

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