February 22, 2024
Texas Man Sentenced To 42 Months In Prison For Role In Scheme To Fraudulently Obtain Over  Million In COVID-19 Relief Loans
Texas Man Sentenced To 42 Months In Prison For Role In Scheme To Fraudulently Obtain Over  Million In COVID-19 Relief LoansDamian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that...

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that AMOS MUNDENDI, a/k/a “Mos,” a/k/a “El Ashile Mundi,” was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court by United States District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer to 42 months in prison for his participation in a scheme to fraudulently obtain over $30 million in Government-guaranteed loans designed to provide relief to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  MUNDENDI is the last of five defendants to be sentenced in the case.  MACKENZY TOUSSAINT, APOCALYPSE BELLA, a/k/a “Dias Yumba,” BRANDON JACKSON, and ALVIN MAXWELL were previously sentenced by Judge Engelmayer.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that wreaked havoc on economies worldwide, Amos Mundendi and his co-defendants illegally plundered funds meant to financially support struggling businesses.  All defendants in this case will now serve substantial prison time for stealing much-needed relief intended for legitimately deserving companies.”

According to allegations in the Complaints, the Indictments, the Superseding Information, and statements made during court proceedings:

TOUSSAINT, BELLA, MAXWELL, and MUNDENDI were involved in an extensive scheme to prepare and submit fraudulent applications to the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and to at least one company which processed loan applications under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).  Over the course of the scheme, TOUSSAINT, BELLA, MAXWELL, and MUNDENDI attempted to fraudulently obtain over $30 million in Government-guaranteed loans for various companies through the PPP, designed to provide financial relief to qualifying companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The scheme resulted in over $15 million in actual loss.

The defendants’ scheme included the submission of fraudulent applications for PPP loans for several companies, including two companies (“Company‑1” and “Company-2”) both located in the Southern District of New York.  The loan proceeds for Companies-1 and -2 totaled approximately $4 million, and the fraudulent funds were distributed to a series of bank accounts located in the United States and elsewhere, including bank accounts controlled by TOUSSAINT and BELLA. 

The PPP loan applications for Company-1 and Company-2 were false, containing lies designed to maximize proceeds to the fraud scheme.  Specifically, applications for both Company-1 and Company-2 contained material differences from loan applications submitted for both companies under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) program just months earlier.  For instance, the PPP loan application for Company-1 — which was submitted on June 30, 2020 — represented that Company-1 had over 100 employees.  However, an earlier EIDL loan application for Company-1 dated on or about March 30, 2020, represented that Company-1 had only four employees.

TOUSSAINT, BELLA, and MUNDENDI devised and executed the fraud scheme by conspiring with individuals who owned, operated, or otherwise were affiliated with businesses such as Company-1 and Company-2.  MAXWELL was one such individual — a business-owner who participated in the scheme to fraudulently obtain over $1.6 million for his own business.

In addition, TOUSSAINT and JACKSON engaged in a separate scheme to submit fraudulent EIDL applications, often through the use of synthetic identities (i.e., a fake name used in combination with true personal identifying information of another person).  TOUSSAINT and JACKSON used Social Security Numbers belonging to minors as part of the synthetic identities created for use in the fraud scheme.  At least approximately $1.7 million in EIDL loan funds were disbursed as a result of TOUSSAINT’s and JACKON’s EIDL loan fraud scheme.

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In addition to the prison sentence, MUNDENDI, 33, of Irving, Texas, was ordered to pay $9,315,418.00 in restitution.

On October 27, 2022, BELLA, 48, of Clackamas, Oregon, was sentenced to 40 months in prison and ordered to pay $4,088,084.42 in restitution.

On November 10, 2022, TOUSSAINT, 40, of Irving, Texas, was sentenced to 90 months in prison and ordered to pay $12,402,676.92 in restitution.

On December 6, 2022, MAXWELL, 46, of Lancaster, Texas, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $1,696,534.63 in restitution.

On February 3, 2023, JACKSON, 35, of Farmer’s Branch, Texas, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay $1,772,453.00 in restitution.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Small Business Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Dina McLeod is in charge of the prosecution.

Originally published at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/newyork/news/texas-man-sentenced-to-42-months-in-prison-for-role-in-scheme-to-fraudulently-obtain-over-30-million-in-covid-19-relief-loans

originally published at HUMAN RIGHTS - USA DAILY NEWS 24