Federal Grand Jury Indicts Amherst Businessman On 40 Counts For Defrauding The Paycheck Protection And Economic Injury Disaster Loan Programs Out Of Millions Of Dollars
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a 40-count indictment charging Hormoz Mansouri, 67, of Amherst, NY, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who is handling the case, stated that the indictment charges Mansouri with filing fraudulent loan applications under both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The loans available for these programs were designed to provide emergency financial assistance pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act). Mansouri controlled the following business entities which applied for loans:
• HLM Holding LLC,
• El Team Inc.,
• NPTS Inc.,
• 2060 Sheridan Drive LLC,
• 212 Holden Avenue LLC,
• 350 Old Niagara Falls Boulevard LLC,
• 47 East Amherst LLC, and
• 3600 Harlem Road LLC.
The PPP loans that the Mansouri-controlled entities obtained, either inflated or completely fabricated the average monthly payroll and six of the eight entities had no actual employees or payroll expenses at all. The total amount of money received from the fraudulent PPP loans totaled approximately $3,000,000. The Mansouri controlled entities also received approximately $450,600 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). These loan applications falsely represented revenues and cost of goods sold. On May 28, 2021, the United States Attorney’s Office seized approximately $1,923,603 of the fraudulently obtained money.
The indictment also charges Mansouri with moving the fraudulent PPP and EIDL funds between various bank accounts; commingling the proceeds with legitimate business revenues; and funding certain accounts, including a campaign account (in the name of “Mansouri for County Comptroller”).
Mansouri was arraigned this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and was released on conditions.
The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas Fattorusso.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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