According to court documents, Foad “David” Darakhshan, 47, of McLean, conspired with his girlfriend, Haleh Farshi, 44, of Ashburn, and his brothers and their friends to file at least 63 falsified loan applications in order to obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through banks and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through the Small Business Administration. The defendants used multiple shell entities they controlled to apply for PPPs and EIDLs and falsified IRS tax forms submitted to lenders. They engaged in a group WhatsApp chat devoted to executing the fraud scheme, openly discussing falsifying documents and inflating the numbers of employees, company revenues, and payroll figures in order to induce lenders to make the loans.
They wrongfully obtained more than $3 million in loan proceeds, according to a news release. OF the 63 applications submitted, 17 were approved and the rest were denied. Foah Darakhshan received more than $1.5 million of the overall proceeds of the scheme. He and the others used the proceeds to make investments in the stock market, fund a home construction project, take a trip to Cancun, purchase a vehicle and pay for other personal expenses.
“The PPP and EIDL programs were launched to alleviate damage to the economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through providing vulnerable small businesses with enough funds to pay for the absolute essentials, keeping their businesses running and their employees paid,” said Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “While millions of Americans were struggling, Foad Darakhshan and his co-conspirators plotted to obtain over $3 million in fraudulent EIDL and PPP loans meant to aid businesses in crisis for their own financial gain. EDVA, in partnership with federal law enforcement, is pursing criminal and civil cases against offenders in our district who attempt to take advantage of these critical programs and recovering and returning significant portions of stolen funds to the American taxpayer.”
The U.S. government recovered more than $1 million of the total scheme proceeds through seizure warrants, and Foad Darakhshan is ordered to pay full restitution.
Haleh Farshi; Farough Darakhshan, 39, of Great Falls; Fouzi Darakhshan, 36, of Falls Church; Shoughi Darakhshan, 30, of McLean; and Marcus Gharib, 29, of Tysons, all previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. They are scheduled to be sentenced between July and September.