An Orange County man was sentenced to federal prison on Friday for using millions in fraudulent COVID-relief loans to buy luxury sports cars.
Mustafa Qadiri, 42, from Irvine, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison, fined $20,000 and ordered to pay $2,861,050 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Authorities say Qadiri fraudulently “obtained $5 million in COVID-relief loans for his sham businesses, then used the money on himself, including purchasing Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini cars.”
The loans were also used to fund lavish vacations and other personal expenses, officials said.
“Federal agents seized the Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini cars that Qadiri purchased with the fraudulently obtained PPP loans, along with $2 million in ill-gotten gains from his bank account,” court documents state.
Qadiri pleaded guilty in July 2021 to one count of bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of money laundering.
In May and June of 2020, authorities say Qadiri submitted false Paycheck Protection Program loan applications to three banks on behalf of four nonexistent Newport Beach-based companies.
The applications included altered bank records, sham tax returns and false information about employees and their wages, according to court documents.
Qadiri also used someone else’s name, Social Security number and signature to apply for one of the loans, prosecutors said.
PPP loans were created to provide financial support to struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Homeland Security Investigations, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case as part of the El Camino Real Financial Crimes Task Force.
Anyone with information about attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it to the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or online.