Seattle man who used stolen identities to seek nearly $2 million in COVID-19 benefits pleads guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft
Seattle – A Washington tech executive was sentenced today to 2 years in prison for perpetrating a scheme to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 disaster relief loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Mukund Mohan, 48, of Clyde Hill, pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering on March 15, 2021. According to court documents, Mohan submitted eight fraudulent disaster loan applications seeking over $5.5 million. In support of the fraudulent loan applications, Mohan submitted fake and altered documents, including fake federal tax filings and altered incorporation documents. For example, Mohan misrepresented to a lender that, in 2019, his company Mahenjo Inc. had dozens of employees and paid millions of dollars in employee wages and payroll taxes. In support of Mahenjo’s loan application, Mohan submitted false incorporation documents and tax forms suggesting the company had been in business prior to 2020. In truth, Mohan purchased Mahenjo in May 2020 and, at the time he purchased the company, it had no employees and no business activity. The incorporation documents he submitted to the lender were altered and the federal tax filings he submitted were fake. Five of Mohan’s eight fraudulent loan applications were approved, and he fraudulently obtained nearly $1.8 million in COVID-19 relief funds.
In addition to the prison sentence, Mohan was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $100,000 and $1,786,357 in restitution.
“When individuals like Mr. Mohan abuse the benefit programs under the CARES act to unjustly enrich themselves, they are stealing from those that are the most vulnerable,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Corinne Kalve of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS:CI). “Today, Mr. Mohan is being held accountable for the harm his greed has caused our friends, our families, and our communities.”
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman for the Western District of Washington; Acting Inspector General Phyllis Fong of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG); Acting Special Agent in Charge Corinne Kalve of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA); and Special Agent In Charge Jeff Pittano of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), made the announcement.
This case was investigated by FHFA-OIG, IRS-CI, TIGTA, and FDIC-OIG.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Friedman of the Western District of Washington and Trial Attorney Christopher Fenton of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the department’s prosecution of fraud schemes that exploit the PPP. In the months since the PPP began, Fraud Section attorneys have prosecuted more than 100 defendants in more than 70 criminal cases. The Fraud Section has also seized more than $65 million in cash proceeds derived from fraudulently obtained PPP funds, as well as numerous real estate properties and luxury items purchased with such proceeds. More information can be found at: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/ppp-fraud.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.