Riverside County man pleads guilty to federal criminal charges for fraudulently obtaining $6.6 million in COVID-Relief business loans | USAO-CDCA
LOS ANGELES – A Corona man pleaded guilty today to federal criminal charges in connection with a scheme to submit false loan applications that earned him more than $6.6 million in child protection program funds paychecks (PPP) and economic disaster loans (EIDL).
Muhammad Noor Ul Ain Atta, 39, pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with wire fraud and money laundering.
According to his plea agreement, Atta submitted 11 fraudulent PPP loan applications for seven of his front companies. Fraudulent PPP loan applications misrepresented the number of employees and average monthly payroll expenses of Atta’s businesses, and falsely certified that he would use loan proceeds for authorized business purposes. Atta also submitted false tax and payroll documents in support of his loan applications. In total, Atta received $6,643,540 in loan proceeds, even though none of his companies were legitimate recipients of relief funds at the time. Atta then laundered the loan proceeds into bank accounts in the United States and Pakistan.
The plea agreement details a PPP loan in which Atta requested $1,267,714 for a company called Envisioning Future Inc. The loan request falsely represented that
Envisioning Future had 73 employees and falsely certified Envisioning Future would use loan proceeds for authorized business purposes, including paying payroll and other business-related expenses. The fraudulent claim filed on April 10, 2020 was supported by falsified federal tax returns and false payroll data.
About a month later, Envisioning Future received $1,267,140 in loan proceeds, and the next day Atta wired most of the money to his mother’s bank account. Then, in June 2020, Atta wired $1.3 million — the majority of which came from the Envisioning Future PPP loan — to a financial institution in Islamabad, Pakistan. According to the plea agreement, the details of the wire transfer included a note stating that the transfer was for “family support”.
U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson has scheduled a sentencing hearing for October 17, when Atta will face a maximum legal sentence of 20 years in prison on each count.
Acting United States Attorney Stephanie S. Christensen, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting Special Agent in Charge Cory Nootnagel of the Office of Inspector General of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Special Agent in Charge Ryan Korner of the IRS Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Weston King of the Small Business Administration – Bureau of Inspector General, and Special Agent in Charge Rod Ammari of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam P. Schleifer of the Major Fraud Section and trial attorneys Jennifer L. Bilinkas and Matthew F. Sullivan of the Department of Justice Fraud Section are pursuing the case.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize Department of Justice resources in partnership with government agencies to scale up enforcement and prevention efforts. pandemic-related fraud. The task force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies administering relief programs to prevent fraud by augmenting and integrating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and by sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information about the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about alleged 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 through the NCDF’s online complaint form at https://www. .justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.