CLYDE HILL, Wash. — A Washington tech executive has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering after obtaining $5.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans and laundering the proceeds.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan from the federal government designed to help small businesses keep their employees on the payroll. PPP loans are intended to help businesses fund payroll costs, worker protection costs and other costs related to COVID-19.
Mukund Mohan of Clyde Hill submitted at least eight fraudulent PPP loan applications on behalf of six different companies, according to acting U.S Attorney for the Western District of Washington Tessa Gorman. Mohan made several untrue and misleading statements about the companies' business operations and payroll expenses on the applications.
Mohan submitted fake and altered documents, including fake federal tax filings and altered incorporation documents alongside the applications, according to federal prosecutors.
In one case, Mohan misled a lender to believe his company Mahenjo Inc. had dozens of employees and paid millions of dollars in employee wages and payroll taxes in 2019, federal prosecutors said. He also submitted documents showing he incorporated the company in 2018 and filed federal unemployment tax forms in 2019.
In reality, Mohan bought Mahenjo Inc. on the internet in May 2020. At the time he purchased the company, it had no employees and no business activity, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The incorporation documents Mohan submitted to the lender were altered and the federal tax filings he submitted were fake.
Federal officials seized all but $16,000 of federal loans from Mohan's accounts. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the prosecution will recommend that Mohan pay a $100,000 fine in addition to his restitution.