Fraud Friday – Four Indicated on $10 Million Gasoline Station Biz Acq SBA Loan Fraud


November 1, 2013

FBILogoStop me if you’ve heard this one before.

A major gasoline station business acquisition SBA loan fraud involving fake documents, straw borrowers and a bank officer – in the midwest – has resulted in four bank fraud indictments.

The small business banker indicted is American Enterprise Bank’s Akash Brahmbhatt.

He is charged with one count of bank fraud for his alleged role to aid the sellers fraudulently obtain more than $10 million in loan proceeds through the sale of 26 gas stations in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

Two defendants, Charnpal Ghuman and Aga Khan, co-owned the gas stations and sold them to purchasers financed by SBA loans. They allegedly recruited purchasers and arranged the loans based on false representations and false tax returns

A 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury earlier this month was unsealed following the arrests of Ghuman, who was charged with 19 counts of bank fraud, three counts of bank bribery, and one count of filing a false federal income tax return; and Khan, who was charged with four counts of bank fraud.

As part of the scheme, Ghuman and Khan allegedly recruited purchasers of their gas stations who did not qualify for SBA loans and arranged for loans to be made in whole or in part in the name of the purchaser’s relative or friend who had acceptable credit, even though Ghuman, Khan, and Brahmbhatt knew that this straw purchaser would have no role in the gas station or repayment of the loans.

In addition, the same three defendants caused false information and documents to be submitted to the bank, including false information about employment, income, assets, and liabilities; false tax returns and false information about the purchasers’ contributions of equity.

Ghuman and Khan allegedly gave gifts to Brahmbhatt, including cars, in exchange for his alleged assistance in processing the fraudulent loans.

Read the FBI press release here