CALIFORNIA -- A man from California allegedly obtained about $5 million in federal coronavirus-relief loans for his fake businesses and then spent the funds on himself, including buying Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini sports cars, according to federal authorities.
Mustafa Qadiri, 38, of Irvine, was arrested Friday for the alleged scheme involving the federal Payment Protection Program, which was passed last year to help small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A federal grand jury indictment that was returned Wednesday charges Qadiri with four counts of bank fraud, four counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and six counts of money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Qadiri surrendered to law enforcement and was expected to make his initial appearance Friday afternoon in Santa Ana federal court.
The federal indictment alleges Qadiri claimed to have owned four companies based in Newport Beach - none of which were actually in operation.
He then allegedly submitted fraudulent PPP loan applications to three banks on behalf of those companies, the court papers allege. Those applications included false information about employees earning wages for the companies, altered bank records and fictitious quarterly federal tax return forms, according to federal prosecutors.
Qadiri allegedly also used someone else's name, Social Security number and signature to fraudulently apply for one of the loans.
The false information helped him obtain $5 million in bank loans. Federal officials say he then spent the money on himself, including purchasing luxury sports cars, lavish vacations and paying his own personal expenses.
Federal agents have seized the Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini cars that Qadiri purchased with the allegedly fraudulently obtained PPP loans, along with $2 million in alleged ill-gotten gains from his bank account.