Texas wedding planner charged with coronavirus fraud after seeking over $3M in loans, feds say

A Texas man was arrested Tuesday on charges of defrauding the coronavirus relief fund for $3 million.

Fahad Shah, 44, of Murphy, Texas, is facing three counts of wire fraud, one count of making false statements to a bank and four counts of money laundering, prosecutors said in a press release.

A federal indictment accuses Shah of fraudulently applying for $3 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Prosecutors say a North Texas wedding planner allegedly filed fake applications to obtain coronavirus relief funds. 

Prosecutors say a North Texas wedding planner allegedly filed fake applications to obtain coronavirus relief funds. 

The indictment says Shah submitted fake applications in PPP loans to two different Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders. In the application, Shah allegedly claimed to have more than 120 employees at his wedding planning business earning wages when, in fact, he had zero employees working for him.

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The indictment alleges Shah got more than $1.5 million that he used to buy a Tesla and make personal investments and home mortgage payments.

Shah appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine A. Nowak of the Eastern District of Texas.

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It was not immediately clear if Shah was kept in custody or released. A telephone number listed to him has been disconnected and he could not be reached for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.