A married couple from Virginia accused of pilfering more than $1.4 M from the Paycheck Protection Program was taken into custody at the airport when it was discovered they were leaving the U.S. in a purported attempt to escape criminal penalties.
Since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) put many small businesses in danger of having to shut their doors, the U.S. Small Business Association began offering a loan called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It was designed to help owners keep their employees on the payroll during the pandemic.
A press release from the Justice Department informed the public that they found purportedly fraudulent PPP applications submitted to at least a dozen institutions during the months of April and May, and they asserted the responsible parties were a couple from Ashburn.
The suspects, identified as 43-year-old Monica Magdalena Jaworska and her husband Tarik Jaafar, 42, allegedly handed in a total of eighteen applications.
On their applications, the couple allegedly used four businesses that they said had payroll tax records on file with the Internal Revenue Service.
The authorities have asserted that the pair falsified the information on their applications when they were unable to dig up any tax filings for the businesses.
Jaworska and Jaafar were given $1,438,500 before the allegations against them surfaced, and the authorities reported that the couple was able to take $300,000 before they could freeze the funds.
According to the prosecution, after the couple’s alleged scam they each obtained a one-way ticket to Poland.
The pair was reportedly at John F. Kennedy airport in New York when they were intercepted by the authorities, and they were taken into custody for the allegations before their flight left the ground.
Both Jaworska and Jaafar have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
If they are found guilty and given the maximum penalty they could each spend twenty-years behind bars.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.