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Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Pakistani man jailed in US for fraudulently acquiring loan

Rana sought a $10 million Paycheck Protection Program loan for his phone company “Azhar Sarwar Rana LLC” after submitting his application on April 6, 2020. He used falsified payroll reports and IRS tax documents, prosecutors said according to foreign media reports.

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A Pakistani man who acquired a covid loan for a fake company ends up being jailed in US. Pakistani man named, Azhar Sarwar Rana, had obtained a loan of Rs. 1 million from the US government near the beginning of the pandemic coronavirus. The man has now been sentenced to five years and four months imprisonment.

He will also have to pay back about $5.58 million approximately Rs.1 billion along with serving five years imprisonment in the federal prison, the US Attorney for New Jersey said in a statement.

Rana sought a $10 million Paycheck Protection Program loan for his phone company “Azhar Sarwar Rana LLC” after submitting his application on April 6, 2020. He used falsified payroll reports and IRS tax documents, prosecutors said according to a foreign media report on Thursday.

Read more: Pakistan becomes first South Asian state to launches NAP on business, HRs

Rana ended up receiving $5,677,473 in May 2020 for what he claimed was a real estate development company, courts documents state. The minimal wages the fake company purportedly paid in 2020 were mostly to people whose submitted Social Security numbers did not correspond to their submitted names.

 

The documents say, Rana used the money to pay personal expenses such as a $13,000 payment to a BMW dealership. He also sent money to friends and relatives in Pakistan and elsewhere.

“Based on Rana’s misrepresentations, the lender approved Rana’s PPP loan application and provided Azhar Sarwar Rana LLC with approximately $5.6 million in federal COVID-19 emergency relief funds meant for distressed small businesses. Rana used the fraudulently obtained PPP loan proceeds to pay for numerous personal expenses, including to invest millions in the stock market, make a payment to a luxury car dealership, and send hundreds of thousands of dollars to accounts in Pakistan,” read an excerpt from the official statement.

Read more: How can Pakistan use the Coronavirus pandemic for its benefit?

He was arrested in December 2020, hours before he was scheduled to board a flight for Pakistan. PPP loans are a part of the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security). These funds are supposed to be used for payroll costs, utilities, rent, and interest on mortgages.