Seattle – A Washington tech executive pleaded guilty today to wire fraud and money laundering in connection with his scheme to obtain over $5.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and laundering the proceeds, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman for the Western District of Washington.
Mukund Mohan, 48, of Clyde Hill, Washington, was charged in July 2020. He is scheduled for sentencing in front of U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on July 20, 2021.
According to the plea agreement and other records filed in the case, Mohan submitted at least eight fraudulent PPP loan applications on behalf of six different companies to federally insured financial institutions. In support of the fraudulent loan applications, Mohan made numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ respective business operations and payroll expenses.
In support of the fraudulent loan applications, Mohan submitted fake and altered documents, including fake federal tax filings and altered incorporation documents. For example, Mohan misrepresented to a lender that, in 2019, his company Mahenjo Inc., had dozens of employees and paid millions of dollars in employee wages and payroll taxes. In support of Mahenjo’s loan application, Mohan submitted incorporation documents showing that he incorporated the company in 2018 and filed federal unemployment tax forms for 2019. In truth, Mohan purchased Mahenjo on the Internet in May 2020 and, at the time he purchased the company, it had no employees and no business activity. The incorporation documents he submitted to the lender were altered and the federal tax filings he submitted were fake.
Quick action by federal law enforcement resulted in the seizure of all but just over $16,000 of federal loan funds from Mohan’s accounts.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend the low end of the federal sentencing guidelines range. Both prosecution and defense will recommend that Mohan pay a $100,000 fine in addition to his restitution obligation.
Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This case was investigated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General. Trial Attorney Christopher Fenton of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Friedman of the Western District of Washington are prosecuting the case.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.