Investment Coach Sentenced to Two Years for Creating Fake Companies to Get PPP Funds

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 26, 2021

GettyImages-1220927314-PPP

Mukund Mohan, who describes himself on Twitter as "(likely) the  world's most stupid person," has been sentenced to two years in prison for using fictitious companies to gain $1.8 million worth of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, MarketWatch reported. Mohan, who previously worked as an executive at Microsoft and Amazon, pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering on March 15.

Court documents say that Mohan, who boasted over 50,000 Twitter followers who listened to his financial advice, effectively set up Potemkin startups propped up by phony tax forms and false statements. He submitted such fraudulent documents as part of his PPP loan applications, to claim that he employed dozens of people and paid millions in wages. These companies, authorities said, did not exist except on paper, and their sole purpose was to defraud the government. Mohan submitted eight loan applications in all, five of which were approved.

The scam unraveled quickly, as it seemed Mohan did not go to great lengths to hide his scheme: Some of the companies that purportedly employed numerous people were apparently based out of his home, which presumably would not have the capacity to host so many workers. Mohan did not get much time to enjoy his gains, having spent only about $16,000 by the time he was arrested in July 2020. The government has since reclaimed virtually all the funds. 

In addition to his prison sentence, Mohan was ordered to pay $1.79 million in restitution and a $100,000 fine.

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