July 3, 2020
By Caity Witucki
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Couple Attempts to Flee the Country After Obtaining $1.5 Million in Fraudulent PPP Loans
On Saturday, June 20, 2020, Monica Magdalena Jaworska and her husband Tarik Jaafar were arrested at the JFK Airport in New York. According to federal prosecutors, the couple had allegedly obtained nearly $1.5 million in fraudulent PPP loan funds and were about to board a flight to Poland.
According to court documents, between April and May 2020, Jaworska and Jaafar allegedly submitted eighteen PPP loan applications containing materially false statements to twelve different financial institutions in the names of four business entities. On the applications, the couple allegedly claimed that the funds would be used to keep about a dozen employees on payroll.
However, an FBI investigation allegedly revealed that the applications submitted by Jaworska and Jaafar contained altered IRS payroll tax documents. Furthermore, federal prosecutors claim that the FBI found no proof that any of the couple’s businesses existed when the applications were submitted.
As a result of the false statements, three financial institutions disbursed four loans totaling $1,438,500.
According to the criminal complaint, a federal investigator contacted the couple for an interview in June to discuss the discrepancies between the PPP applications and IRS tax filings. However, before the interview could take place, Jaafar withdrew at least $30,000 in cash and purchased two one-way plane tickets to Poland.
Jaworska and Jaafar have not yet been convicted, and are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, if convicted, both Jaworska and Jaafar face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.