Friday, April 9, 2021

Washington tech executive pleads guilty to wire fraud, money laundering in PPP loan scam

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A Washington state tech executive has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering after trying to obtain $5.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans and laundering some of the proceeds, federal prosecutors said.

Mukund Mohan of Clyde Hill was charged in July 2020 and agreed to a plea deal on Monday, Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman said in a statement. He’s scheduled to be sentenced July 20.

Mohan submitted at least eight fake PPP loan applications for six different companies to federally insured financial institutions, according to the plea agreement and court records. He made false and misleading statements about the companies to support the fake applications.

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He obtained about $1.7 million, but investigators were able to quickly seize all but about $16,000 of it.

In one case, he said his company Mahenjo Inc. had dozens of employees and paid millions of dollars in employee wages and payroll taxes in 2019 when he really purchased the company in 2020 and had no workers or business activity.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend the low end of the federal sentencing guidelines range, Gorman said. Both the government and the defense will recommend that Mohan pay a $100,000 fine in addition to restitution.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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