A California man who acted like he got the green light to buy a Ferrari, a Bentley and a Lamborghini on the fed’s COVID-19 relief dime is now steering his way through multiple fraud charges.
Federal prosecutors say Mustafa Qadiri, of Irvine, California, used about $5 million in Payment Protection Program loans to live large, spending the COVID relief money on luxury vacations, the costly cars and more.
Qadiri was named in a federal grand jury indictment returned Wednesday charging him with four counts of bank fraud, four counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and six counts of money laundering. He surrendered to law enforcement Friday.
He is accused of claiming to operate four businesses based in Newport Beach, California, none of which are in operation: All American Lending, Inc., All American Capital Holdings, Inc., RadMediaLab, Inc., and Ad Blot, Inc.
In May and June 2020, Qadiri submitted false and fraudulent applications to the federal Payment Protection Program, or PPP, the small business loan program set up by Congress to help cover employee wages and keep workers on the books during the pandemic.
“The false information allegedly included the number of employees to whom the companies paid wages, altered bank account records with inflated balances, and fictitious quarterly federal tax return forms,” prosecutors said in a statement. “Qadiri allegedly also used someone else’s name, Social Security number and signature to fraudulently apply for one of the loans.”
Banks funded the loans and transferred approximately $5 million to accounts Qadiri controlled, the statement said.
The 38-year-old then went on a spending spree.
Federal agents have seized the three vehicles, along with $2 million in allegedly ill-gotten gains from his bank account.
Qadiri is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to go to trial June 29, according to CBS Los Angeles.