Man Admits Fleecing $2M From NJ in COVID Relief Schemes
A Maryland man has admitted to scamming New Jersey out of over $2 million in pandemic relief funds and unemployment benefits.
Mohamad Kamara, 42, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger. USAO spokesman Matthew Reilly said the man from Greenbelt, MD appeared in court virtually Tuesday.
The indictment against Kamara states that in one scheme he used other people's identities including names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers to get unemployment benefits from January through September 2020. Sellinger stated the racket netted Kamara more than $1 million.
Around the same time, from March through October 2020, Kamara also worked as part of a conspiracy with others to apply for disaster loans from the Small Business Administration. The loans were given to businesses to offset the economic impacts of the pandemic.
Kamara and his conspirators opened fake bank accounts to use on their applications, Sellinger said. Once they had the money from the SBA loans, they transferred the funds to an account controlled by Kamara. Collectively, they obtained over $750,000.
Kamara was arrested and charged in June 2021. At the time, he had been accused of fraudulently obtaining around $500,000.
His sentencing is scheduled for the second week of October. Sellinger said he faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and a fine of potentially double the illegal gains.