On Friday, July 14, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) announced that Rami Saab had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Saab, a 44-year-old man from Glen Cove, is accused of stealing $9.5 million from banks and the Small Business Association (SBA) over the course of a year by creating a bogus company in order to apply for COVID- 19 Relief Loans.
According to the charges, between May 2020 and May 2021, Saab allegedly collaborated with others to fraudulently apply for more than 20 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDLP) loans.
However, the businesses Saab claimed to own in the filing were all bogus.
Also known as “shell companies,” these entities claim to have falsified employee numbers, payroll costs, and even how the company plans to use the relief money.
The EDNY office said the filings were designed to mislead the SBA and the banks administering the relief loans.
Saab applied for and received 20 loans totaling more than $9.5 million for the bogus companies.
The EDNY office alleges that Saab took the money and moved it between multiple accounts in an attempt to conceal the nature and origin of the funds. He also used the laundered money to buy things for himself and others.
“Saab pocketed nearly $10 million in ill-gotten gains through benefits designed to help those in genuine need,” said IRS Special Director for Criminal Investigations Thomas M. Fattorusso) said.
“Criminals like Saab continue to seek the fastest way to make money, regardless of the rule of law or who may become victims in the process.”
Saab’s sentencing date has not been announced; however, he faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine and $9,668,508 in restitution.
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