A California man was released on $100,000 bond Friday after he was charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $5 million in government-backed Paycheck Protection Program loans that he used to fund a luxury lifestyle.
Prosecutors said Mustafa Qadiri, 38, of Irvine used the money to buy three cars that cost six figures each: a 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia, a 2018 Lamborghini Aventador S, and a Bentley Continental GT.
He was charged in an indictment with four counts of bank fraud, four counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and six counts of money laundering. He was arrested Friday morning.
Qadiri pleaded not guilty Friday in federal court, said U.S. Attorney's spokesperson Ciaran McEvoy.
Qadiri's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors said Qadiri listed one of four mortgage companies in multiple applications for PPP loans, and three banks awarded him a total of more than $5 million. The companies he listed do not exist now, prosecutors said.
Qadari is also accused of using PPP money for "lavish vacations" and "the payment of personal expenses," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors claim he falsified the number of employees at the companies, inflated bank balances and used another person's identity to obtain the loans. He obtained the money "for payroll and company expenses that did not exist," and the money was wired to accounts Qadari controlled, prosecutors said in the indictment.
The Covid-19 relief program offered small businesses up to $10 million in forgivable loans for payroll and basic expenses.
Federal agents seized the cars and $2 million "in alleged ill-gotten gains from his bank account," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.