West Haven Woman involved in Scheme to Steal COVID-19 Relief Funds from the City Sentenced to Prison
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GEORGE HAJATI, 41, of Cromwell, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny to 27 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for operating an auto loan fraud scheme while he was on federal supervised release from a prior federal conviction. Judge Chatigny also ordered Hajati to serve the first six months of his supervised release in home confinement, and to perform 120 hours of community service.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the sentencing occurred via videoconference.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Hajati owned and operated a used car dealership located at 1075 Newfield Street in Middletown known as Car Nation, LLC, Car Nation CT, LLC, and Middletown Motorcars. In connection with automobile loan applications for multiple borrowers, Hajati, and employees at his direction, submitted documents and statements to victim lenders that falsely represented the borrower’s employment, salary, sources of income, and the fact and amount of a down payment. The false documents included fictitious or altered borrower pay stubs and income verification letters purportedly from the Social Security Administration. Hajati falsely indicated that borrowers made salaries they did not make, worked at jobs they did not work, received income from the Social Security Administration they did not receive, and made down payments they did not make. In some instances, the borrower was not aware of, and did not consent to, Hajati using his or her personal identifying information to obtain automobile loans in these ways.
Between approximately April 2016 and July 2019, Hajati defrauded victim lenders of $654,952.56 through this scheme. Hajati is required to pay full restitution.
Hajati was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on July 2, 2019. On December 20, he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Hajati was previously convicted of federal conspiracy and fraud offenses related to a Hartford-area mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded various lenders of more than $1 million. In August 2015, Hajati was sentenced in Hartford federal court to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. He was released from federal prison in August 2016, and was on supervised release at the time of the auto loan fraud.
Hajati’s supervised release hearing is scheduled for June 29, at which time he faces a maximum additional sentence of two years of imprisonment.
Hajati who is released on a $560,000 bond, is required to report to prison on September 25, 2020.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David T. Huang and Conor M. Reardon.