Fraud Friday – TikTok Influencer Pleads Guilty After Being Caught with 79 Fraudulent Loan Applications

June 9, 2023

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Fraud Friday – TikTok Influencer Pleads Guilty After Being Caught with 79 Fraudulent Loan Applications

A former social media influencer, Denish Sahadevan, entered a guilty plea for defrauding the SBA out of more than $1.2 million in PPP and EIDL loans. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering.

The plea agreement revealed that Denish applied for 71 PPP loans seeking just over $941,000 in total, and he received 8 EIDLs. As a result, he got away with $146,000 in PPP proceeds and $283,900 in EIDL proceeds. After the money was deposited into bank accounts opened for the sole purpose of the fraud scheme, Denish laundered the money by purchasing and trading securities and cryptocurrency, settling personal debts, and sending payments to his girlfriend.

To carry out the fraud, he created fraudulent and fabricated documents for the application such as bank statements and tax forms. He utilized the identifying information of his tax preparer without the tax preparer’s knowledge to make the fictitious tax forms look valid. This did not end with the tax preparer because Denish influenced his father into cosigning for the fraudulent EIDLs and forged his father’s signature.

This was not the end of Denish’s pursuit of fraudulent loans because he also applied for a $1,336,000 loan to purchase a property in Potomac, Maryland. What he failed to mention in the application is that he owed the United States almost $300,000 for the EIDLs that he was never entitled to. This omission led to the financial institution approving the loan and Denish purchasing the property.

When the search warrant was executed, law enforcement found a can of 18 driver’s licenses belonging to other people, multiple electronic devices, a gold physical Bitcoin, and $17,000 in cash in a suitcase. The Bitcoin was seized, and the cash will be forfeited due to the plea agreement. Additionally, he will be required to pay restitution and forfeit at least $429,906.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Release