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Indian-American techie held for $5.5 mn fraud in Covid relief fund

San Francisco, July 25 (IANS) US authorities have arrested Seattle-based Mukund Mohan, a serial entrepreneur and former executive at Amazon and Microsoft, for allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP) with forged documents and embezzling more than $5.5 million in Covid-19 relief funds.

Mohan was arrested and charged by the US Attorney’s Office in the Fed PPP scam on Thursday.

He submitted “fake and altered documents, including fake federal tax filings and altered incorporation documents” in support of PPP applications for six shell companies he owned.

He then transferred some of the money to his Robinhood brokerage account “for his personal benefit,” the US Attorney alleged in its complaint, reports The Seattle Times.

Mohan, who studied computer science in Mysore University and became director of engineering at Microsoft in the US, was very popular in the startup ecosystem in Bengaluru.

He was currently serving as chief technology officer at online Canadian building materials retailer

According to the report, Federal PPP loans are intended to help businesses retain workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

“But Mohan’s companies didn’t employ a single worker,” according to the US Attorney’s office.

For example, Mohan submitted forged documents to a lender of a company called Mahenjo Inc and showed that the shell firm “had dozens of employees and paid millions of dollars in employee wages and payroll taxes”.

“Mohan claimed to the lender, Peoples Bank, that the $431,250 PPP loan would retain 24 jobs, according to a database maintained by the federal agency overseeing the programme,” the report mentioned.

Mohan actually purchased Mahenjo in May from a company that specialises in “aging” shell corporations.

Mohan previously worked as a director of product management at Amazon Business and a director of engineering at Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Business.

The US Attorney also claimed that Mohan received $304,830 in PPP loans for another company called Zigantic LLC, which does not have a business license and has never paid employee wages or payroll taxes.

Mohan’s son is the company’s chief marketing officer, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Mohan has promoted himself for years as a builder and marketer of successful tech firms, even giving a speech on “Budding Entrepreneurs” at the TEDxMSRIT summit at Ramaiah Institute of Technology in Bengaluru in 2013.

Mohan and the tech companies where he worked did not comment on the development.


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The wait time for green cards for Indians professionals stuck in the “awful, hellish green card backlog” could go up from the current 195 years to 450 years in ten years without a comprehensive reform of the immigration system, a Republican Senator has warned. Senator Mike Lee said on Wednesday: “By the time we stretch this (backlogs) out to 2030, the 195-year backlog I mentioned a moment ago would be extended out to a 400- to 450-year backlog.” He said that for those filing for green cards “in 2020, the wait for an EB2 green card is not, in fact, 20 to 30 years for an Indian national. What is it, then? Is it 30? Is it 40, 50, 60? No, it is much longer than that. It is 195 years. This means that someone from India entering the backlog today would have to wait 195 years to receive an EB3 green card.” EB2 green cards – the permanent immigration visa leading to citizenship – are for those with advanced degrees and EB3 for skilled and professional workers. The annual green card quota for India and most countries is about 26,000. Lee gave these wait times while opposing a Democratic bill that would protect the children of those on H1-B and other employment visas who are waiting for their green cards from being deported when they turn 21. He said that with such long wait times, the children would not be able to qualify for green cards in their lifetimes and, instead, a comprehensive reform is needed. When children turn 21, they are no longer considered dependents and will lose their visa status based on their parents’ visas as well as their claim to a green card and the Protect Children of Immigrant Workers Act proposed by Democrat Senator Dick Durbin seeks to remedy this. While the cause of children who came to the US illegally has a lot of political support, the children who came in legally but reached adulthood has been under the radar and Durbin’s bill proposes a parallel remedy. Durbin said that without increasing the total number of green cards, it would not be possible to deal with the huge backlogs and the decades-long wait times. Full report on our website. Link in bio. . #greencard #backlog #greencardnews #immigration #h1bvisa #legalimmigration

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