Alexandria Man Pleads Guilty to $1.2M COVID Fraud Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to fraudulently obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, unemployment insurance, and other pandemic benefits.
According to court documents, from approximately October 2020 through September 2021, George Mensah, Jr., 32, conspired with others to prepare fraudulent PPP loans and unemployment insurance claims under the CARES Act. Mensah admitted that he and his coconspirators prepared and submitted over 47 applications for PPP loans for fake businesses. At least 21 of these applications were funded by lenders, which caused an actual loss of at least $583,172. In addition, Mensah admitted that he and his co-conspirators obtained the personally identifiable information of others, including identity theft victims, in order to make claims for pandemic unemployment benefits in Virginia and elsewhere. Mensah admitted that he and his co-conspirators obtained at least $658,952 in fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance and pandemic benefits.
Mensah is scheduled to be sentenced on February 14, 2024. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Damon E. Wood, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Javan Wilson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Inspector General; and Troy W. Springer, Special Agent in Charge, National Capital Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr. accepted the plea.
The Fairfax County Police Department also provided significant assistance in the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Shartar and Kathleen Robeson and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ezra Spiro are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:23-cr-168.
Updated November 1, 2023