A Stamford man was arrested on federal bank fraud and wire fraud offenses after receiving nearly $2.9 million in COVID-19 relief funds.
The U.S. Department of Justice said 45-year-old Moustapha Disakhate was arrested Friday on a federal criminal complaint with offenses related to his receipt of the millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) under the CARES Act.
Diakhate appeared in court on Friday and was ultimately detained.
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Officials said Diakhate maintained an ownership or management interest in certain small business entities including Ansonia Developers LLC, Winsbay Inc., Buyers Assoication Group LLC, Washington Management LLC and Diakhate Capital, Inc.
He allegedly provided Citibank with false and fraudulent information during the PPP loan application process for each of his five entities, which totaled $2,897,100. Officials said he then used a portion of the funds for various personal expenses including paying off a previous car loan and purchasing both a Mercedes and BMW.
Officials said Diakhate also purchased a $50,000 certificate of deposit with the funds and disbursed it to individuals unrelated to his business entities.
“The Justice Department and our federal law enforcement partners are actively working to identify those who are taking advantage of COVID relief programs to line their pockets in violation of the law, and we will ensure that wrongdoers are prosecuted in federal court," said Acting U.S. Attorney Leonard C Boyle.
“I commend the diligent efforts by all involved in this significant investigation of COVID-19 relief fraud,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge David Sundberg. “This level of deceit must face the full gravity of the judicial system.”
The incident is under investigation.
Anyone with information about attempted fraud involving COVID-19 is asked to call the Department of Justice's National Center for Disease Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or by going to their website.