Oregon dentist pleads guilty to stealing millions in COVID-19 relief loans

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Sept. 13, a previous West Linn dentist pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in federal court docket for thieving almost $11.5 million in cash allocated for COVID-19 reduction.

Salwan Adjaj submitted many fraudulent personal loan applications to the Small Small business Administration from September 2020 till at the very least Could 2021, according to federal prosecutors, and stole cash from the Economic Effects Disaster Personal loan and Paycheck Defense System that had been approved by the Coronavirus Assist, Aid, and Economic Protection Act that sought to help tiny corporations impacted by the pandemic.

Adjaj faked certain facts to pose as numerous firms in need of reduction, such as names, employer identification figures, business start out dates and places, prosecutors reported. Whilst most of these apps were despatched beneath other people’s names, he often recorded his personalized address as the business’s mailing tackle, authorities reported. Each software was allegedly submitted from the IP handle at Adjaj’s spot of operate.

SBA turned down most of his EIDL applications, so Adjaj allegedly pivoted his focus to the PPP program and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund which offers financial relief to companies in the meals and drink marketplace. In May well 2021, he submitted purposes on behalf of fictitious eating places that he claimed were being located in Florida, prosecutors stated.

Adjaj was formally billed by a felony grievance with wire fraud and aggravated identification theft on Oct. 14, 2021. Two months later on on Dec. 14, he was arrested due to an alleged pretrial launch violation. The up coming working day, he received an buy stating that he would be detained pending further court proceedings.

In addition, Adjaj pleaded responsible to illegally distributing 1000’s of managed substances in a independent prison situation on July 13. The former dentist confessed to making use of his occupation to obtain the substances, prosecutors reported.

He could be sentenced a maximum of 22 decades in prison, receive a $250,000 great and three years’ supervised release for his COVID-19 relief fraud situation. For his drug-similar offenses, Adjaj faces a highest sentence of 10 several years in prison, a $500,000 fine and 3 a long time of supervised launch. 

U.S. District Courtroom Choose Michael W. Mosman will sentence Adjaj for equally federal cases on Dec. 6. As mentioned in his plea agreement, Adjaj will compensate for his crimes from the SBA and target loan companies with no less than $10.5 million.