Udayavni Special

Indian-origin tech executive gets 2 years jail for Covid loan fraud

PTI, Aug 25, 2021, 2:22 PM IST

Washington: A 48-year-old Indian-origin tech executive in the US has been sentenced to two years in prison for fraudulently obtaining nearly USD 1.8 million in federal COVID-19 disaster relief loans.

Mukund Mohan of Clyde Hill in Washington state pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering on March 15, the US Department of Justice said.

Mohan, who had past gigs at Microsoft and Amazon, falsified employment documents to fraudulently receive the loans through the government’s Paycheck Protection Programme for companies that he purportedly ran.

He applied for USD 5.5 million in loans with falsely altered documents and received about USD 1.8 million before he was arrested in July 2020.

Mohan was sentenced on Tuesday in the Western District of Washington to two years in prison.

According to court documents, Mohan sought more than USD 5.5 million through eight fraudulent disaster loan applications.

In support of the fraudulent loan applications, Mohan submitted fake and altered documents, including fake federal tax filings and altered incorporation documents.

Mohan misrepresented to a lender that, in 2019, his company Mahenjo Inc had dozens of employees and paid millions of dollars in employee wages and payroll taxes, the Justice Department said.

In support of Mahenjo’s loan application, Mohan submitted false incorporation documents and tax forms suggesting that the company had been in business before 2020, it said.

In truth, Mohan purchased Mahenjo in May 2020. At the time he purchased the company, it had no employees and no business activity.

The incorporation documents that he submitted to the lender were altered and the federal tax filings he submitted were fake.

Five of Mohan’s eight fraudulent loan applications were approved, and he fraudulently obtained nearly USD 1.8 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

In addition to the prison sentence, Mohan was ordered to pay a fine of USD 100,000 and USD 1,786,357 in restitution.

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