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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Friday, November 1, 2013

Houston Couple Sentenced To Federal Prison For SBA Loan Fraud

HOUSTON – Mohammad Qureshi, 59, of Houston and South Dakota, and Fouzia Qureshi, 59, of Houston, have been ordered to prison following their convictions of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. The pair pleaded guilty Aug. 9, 2013.

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Melinda Harmon, who accepted the pleas, handed Mohammad and Fouzia Qureshi a sentence of 12 months and a day in federal prison. A money judgment of $281,672.90 for restitution was imposed as a part of the sentence, of which more than $151,200 has been paid thus far.

The conspiracy began in July 2007 when the couple agreed to buy the Cullen Food Mart for $500,000. The majority of that amount - $420,000 - was financed through Main Street Lender, a Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loan lender.  The Qureshis signed as guarantors for the loan and provided documents and information that was false and misleading as to their assets and liabilities. As part of the loan program, the pair were to pay the seller a “cash injection” of $145,000 which was to come from existing funds. However, instead of using such existing funds, the Qureshis in fact used monies from another undisclosed line of credit, in contrast to SBA program rules. 

After several years, the Qureshis defaulted on the loan and the bank and the SBA incurred a loss of more than $281,000.

Previously released on bond, both were permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The case was investigated by SBA-Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Martha Minnis.

Updated April 30, 2015