Essex County Man Charged in Scheme to Fraudulently Obtain More Than $4 Million from Government Programs
NEWARK, N.J. – A Maryland man admitted that he illegally obtained more than $2 million in COVID-19 relief funds, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Mohamed Kamara, 42, of Greenbelt, Maryland, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to two counts of an indictment charging him with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
From March 2020 to October 2020, Kamara and others made fraudulent applications to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The SBA provided EIDLs collectively worth more than $750,000. Kamara received or attempted to receive funds in connection with the EIDLs.
From January 2020 to September 2020, fraudulent applications were submitted to the state of New Jersey for unemployment insurance benefits using the names, dates of birth, and/or Social Security numbers of other individuals. The state approved and transferred more than $1 million, including funds to an account Kamara controlled. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 10, 2023.
The charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross profits or gross loss suffered by the victims of his offense, whichever is greatest.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, and special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Jonathan Mellone in New York, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea. He also thanked the FBI Baltimore Field Office; the Small Business Administration, and the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Kogan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Cybercrime Unit in Newark.