ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A couple in North Virginia have been charged with fraud after prosecutors said they received about 1.5 1.5 million in federal funding for businesses battling the coronavirus epidemic.
Federal prosecutors in Alexandria say Monica Magdalena Zawarska, 43, of Ashbur, and her husband, Tariq Zafar, 42, of Woodbridge, were arrested at Kennedy International Airport in New York on Saturday after buying a one-way ticket to Poland.
Prosecutors say the pair applied for 16 different loans under the federal paycheck protection program. A total of four approvals of more than ৪ 1.4 million have been approved.
According to the affidavit filed by the investigator with the Small Business Administration, they use fraudulent IRS forms to imply that they are supporting dozens of employees. But the investigation revealed strong evidence that the businesses did not really exist.
Prosecutors say the couple bought plane tickets after officers tried to interview them.
Most of the funds were frozen, but prosecutors say Zafar was able to withdraw at least $ 30,000 in cash.
Zawarska appeared early Wednesday and was ordered to adjourn his detention hearing on Friday. According to court records, Zafar has not yet appeared.
A public defender appointed to represent Zhaoroskar did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Wednesday.