On March 17, 2022 a federal jury in Charlotte, NC convicted Izzat Freitekh, 55, and his son Tarik Freitekh, 34, to multiple Coronavirus fraud loan counts. The father son duo help run the family businesses: La Shish Kabob, La Shish Kabob Catering, Green Apple Catering, and Aroma Packaging, some of which are popular restaurants in the Charlotte area.
Tarik passed out in court after the judge read that he was guilty.
Prosecutors say Tarik and Izzat submitted fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $1.7 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to evidence presented during a six-day trial, Izzat and his son Tarik obtained $1.7 million in fraudulent proceeds obtained by submitting multiple fraudulent PPP loan applications for companies owned by Izzat: La Shish Kabob, La Shish Kabob Catering, Green Apple Catering, and Aroma Packaging.
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The loan applications misrepresented the number of employees and payroll expenses, prosecutors say. The court deemed that after obtaining the fraudulent loan proceeds, the defendants engaged in unlawful monetary transactions with the proceeds of the scheme, including making $30,000 payments to family members.
A United States prosecutor involved in the case said the Freitekhs lied to cover up the fraud.
Izzat was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, three counts of money laundering, and one count of making false statements. He faces years in prison.
Tarik was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of money laundering, and one count of falsifying and concealing material facts.
Tarik passed out in court after the judge read that he was guilty, his head crashed onto the table. The court was cleared out and paramedics were called in. Tarik was considered a flight risk, and the judge had him jailed until sentencing.
A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.