CHICAGO (CBS) — An Evanston business owner stood charged Tuesday night with falsifying a loan application to try to bilk the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program out of $400,000.
Investigators said Rahul Shah, 51, filed a fraudulent loan application through the COVID-19 relief program, using phony IRS documents and lying about his payroll expenses.
Shah owns several IT companies, including Katalyst Technologies in Evanston.
A federal criminal complaint said Shah submitted numerous false and fraudulent documents to the lender, including IRS Forms 1099-MISC claiming that the company made payments to several people who turned out to be federal investigators and did not receive payments.
Shah also signed and submitted to a lender what purported to be IRS Forms 941 representing his company’s quarterly payroll expenses for 2019, the complaint said. The forms reported dramatically lower payroll expenses to the IRS than were reflected on IRS filings, the complaint said.
Shah is charged with one count of bank fraud and making false statements to a financial institution.
“The Paycheck Protection Program was designed as a lifeline for small businesses struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. said in a news release. “My office is working closely with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable anyone who seeks to commit fraud in connection with this important program.”
CBS 2 reached out to shah’s office, he was not available for comment.