Feds: Detroit-area man tried to use pandemic loans on condo

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Posted at 8:48 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 20:48:38-04

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area man has been charged in connection with a scheme to use more than $1 million in federal pandemic relief funding to buy a condominium in the Middle East.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit says a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday charges 59-year-old Wahid Mohamed Makki of Dearborn Heights with wire fraud and money laundering.

Authorities say loans were obtained for 10 shell corporations and then wire-transferred to a bank in Turkey for the purchase of a “sea view condo in Beirut, Lebanon.”

The loans are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act that allows qualifying small businesses and other organizations to receive forgivable loans to cover payroll, mortgages, rent and utilities.