Federal prosecutors on Monday filed wire fraud charges against a Severna Park man who they believe obtained a small business loan under false pretences, paying a 30% bribe to an unnamed person who helped file the loan application and a fraudulent tax form.
Charges filed in US District Court against Ayaz Qureshi, who is listed as the agent of Yazee Inc., accuse him of obtaining more than $250,000 in loan funds from the Check Protection Program payroll for the company in March 2021 and for having paid $75,000 to a person identified only as “AS” in exchange for filing the PPP loan application.
Federal prosecutors said “AS” is a Baltimore resident who ran an alleged financial services business.
The loan application claimed the company had more than $100,000 in monthly salary expenses for a total of 16 employees in 2019, prosecutors said, when in reality the company paid no salaries to any employees.
In a court filing, prosecutors said the unnamed person fabricated a fake unemployment tax form, which was never filed with the Internal Revenue Service, claiming Yazee Inc. paid more than $1 $.2 million in wages to employees in 2019, despite the company never having paid unemployment tax. or withhold any federal income tax for an employee. The bogus form was intended to circumvent a bank’s requirement that borrowers must submit documents, prosecutors said.
Qureshi, 53, says he was scammed by the accountant, whom he only knew as “Adam”. The accountant misled him about the loan, said Qureshi, who is from Pakistan. He said he simply needed a loan to help his struggling business and did not understand that the accountant was arranging a forgivable PPP loan under false pretences.
“I didn’t buy anything new; I still wear old shoes,” Qureshi said, adding that he hoped to use the loan money, which he believed needed to be repaid, to pay for his children’s education before realizing he had been cheated.
“I don’t want to give them dirty money,” he said.
When Qureshi asked ‘AS’ to return the money to the government, the alleged accountant demanded a 30% bribe, he said.
“I was an idiot; I trusted him,” Qureshi said.
Qureshi is due to be arraigned Oct. 12 before U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett. He had no lawyer listed in the court records.