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.


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30 responses to “Irish-Americans in Northern Virginia Caught in COVID Fraud”

  1. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    PS, have you never heard of the Irish Travelers?

    1. WayneS Avatar

      He should know about them.

      Sherlock is a relatively common name among the Irish Travelers who settled in South Carolina.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Any Yalelocks?

      2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
        James C. Sherlock

        My father’s family settled in Western Pennsylvania in a Pennsylvania Railroad company town.

  2. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    Not to worry. It will be okay. My heritage includes the Mafia.

  3. tadmd Avatar

    Irish mother I would imagine 😂

    1. WayneS Avatar

      What do you mean? Darakhshan is an old Gaeilge surname, isn’t it?


      1. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        Some county north of Tehran…

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive


          1. WayneS Avatar

            Tallahassee, Florida, is south of Tehran…

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            By a lot. Tehran is north of us, meaning Virginia.

      2. tadmd Avatar

        I was curious. Darakshan and Gharib come up as middle eastern. Open to being enlightened 😇. Either way a humorous Monday morning piece!

      3. dave schutz Avatar
        dave schutz

        That’s O’Darakhshan to you, fellow! And McGharib, too! McGharib is an OLD County Mayo name!

  4. William O'Keefe Avatar
    William O’Keefe

    But but the name Darakhshan is Persian!

    1. WayneS Avatar

      Are you SURE its not an old Irish name?


      1. William O'Keefe Avatar
        William O’Keefe

        Look it up as I did. The name is Persian but I don’t know the nationality of these thieves.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Celtic spelling of Smith.

        1. WayneS Avatar

          That sounds about right.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive


          2. WayneS Avatar

            According to that translates (more-or-less) to: “St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the Red Cave”.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            And they say English is a tough language…

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Well, not Persian, but one of the “Stans”, e.g., DeSantistan.

  5. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar

    It’s a very Irish name, and has been for hundreds of years. As I understand it, the Royal Navy defeated the Persian Armada, and the Persian sailors who survived made their way to the Irish coast. The genealogists can fill in the rest.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive


  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Well then, we won’t mention the Irish laundry scandals ’cause that would be a twofer.

    Give it sometime Captain. By the time they sort out the Trump “hurry, hurry, don’t check the application” giveaway, more nationalities and a few well known companies will face the same.

  7. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Though everyone was flattered when Ford and his stars O’Hara and John Wayne came to Galway and Mayo to shoot a major Hollywood picture in the summer of 1951, the finished product caused some controversy in the old country.

    Locals were not amused by Ford’s depiction of them as drunken, cunning, capricious brawlers, and neither were they greatly thrilled by the use of Irish stereotypes that had long been popular with the ruling British.

    In a famous scene, Wayne’s character dragged O’Hara’s by the scruff of her neck across a field, and a woman appeared to helpfully hand him a switch, saying “here’s a stick to beat the lovely lady with”.

    This was not how 1950s Ireland liked to see itself, and the sunny, joyful, spontaneous country it represented bore little relation to the poor, drab, priest-ridden, emigration- ravaged reality.

    But in a way the film’s Irish critics were completely missing the point. Ford wasn’t trying to make a movie about contemporary Ireland: he was painting his own precious dreamscape of a land that had been described to him in sentimental recollection by his emigrant parents.

  8. killerhertz Avatar

    Sounds like gypsy grifters to me

  9. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    Maybe time to cheer: Iran go bragh!!!

  10. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Now this is big…

    It was a small trial, just 18 rectal cancer patients, every one of whom took the same drug.

    But the results were astonishing. The cancer vanished in every single patient, undetectable by physical exam; endoscopy; positron emission tomography, or PET scans; or MRI scans.

    Dr. Luis A. Diaz Jr. of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an author of a paper published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine describing the results, which were sponsored by drug company GlaxoSmithKline, said he knew of no other study in which a treatment completely obliterated a cancer in every patient.

  11. vicnicholls Avatar

    You’s be late comers Jim. 🙂

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