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Press Release

Willoughby Hills Man Sentenced for His Part in $7 Million COVID-19 Relief Fraud Scheme Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

CLEVELAND – Aydin Kalantarov, 38, of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, was sentenced yesterday to 33 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Pamela A. Barker, after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) of approximately $1.2 million in Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) program under Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act. Kalantarov was also sentenced to 3 years of supervised release, a $200 special assessment, and agreed to pay up to $1.2 million in restitution.

According to court documents, from May 2020 through October 2020, Kalantarov, along with his two brothers, Zaur Kalantarli and Ali Kalantarli, conspired to defraud the SBA of nearly $7 million in EIDL loans. As part of the scheme the brothers created 70 fictious Ohio corporations with agriculture sounding names, such as “Ohio Almonds and Peanuts” and “Ohio Organic Carrots”.
Once the fictitious corporations were created, the brothers submitted fraudulent EIDL loan applications to the SBA claiming that their business was adversely affected by the pandemic. The SBA funded 47 of the applications for a total of approximately $7 million. Kalantarov personally received $1.2 million in fraud loan proceeds. He used most of his funds to purchase a house in

Zaur Kalantarli and Ali Kalantarli remain at large.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Cleveland, the IRS Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (“USDA-OIG), and the Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General (“SBAOIG”). This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad J. Beeson.


Thomas Weldon
(216) 622-3651

Updated May 25, 2023

Financial Fraud