Irish-Americans in Northern Virginia Caught in COVID Fraud

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by James C. Sherlock

I am of Irish heritage. Grandparents and great grandparents on both sides immigrated to America in the 19th century.

Imagine my shame when I read a recent news release from the Department of Justice.

My people have taken entrepreneurialism a step too far.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Falls Church man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and to make false statements on loan applications in connection with COVID-relief loans.

According to court documents, Fouzi Darakhshan, 36, conspired with his brothers and their friends to submit falsified loan applications in order to obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through banks and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through the Small Business Administration. Altogether, the defendants wrongfully obtained over $3 million in loan proceeds. They submitted at least 63 loan applications, of which 17 were approved.

The defendants used multiple shell entities they controlled to apply for PPPs and EIDLs and falsified IRS tax forms submitted to lenders. They engaged in a group WhatsApp chat devoted to executing the fraud scheme, openly discussing falsifying documents and inflating the numbers of employees, company revenues, and payroll figures in order to induce lenders to make the loans.

Foad Darakhshan, 46, of McLean; Haleh Farshi, 44, of Ashburn; Farough Darakhshan, 39, of Great Falls; Shoughi Darakhshan, 30, of McLean; and Marcus Gharib, 29, of Tysons all previously pleaded guilty for their involvement in the conspiracy.

All the Irish jokes used to be about drinking.

Now we emigrate to Northern Virginia and do this.

Why are my people falsifying COVID PPP loan applications and, in what some mean people will call an example of social Darwinism, chatting about it on WhatsApp?

First the Kardashians, and now this. I hope at least they are Protestants.