Las Vegas businessman stole $11 million in PPP loans to fund lavish lifestyle, feds say

Contractors Board experienced cited flooring firm, documents reveal

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas businessman touted for developing “a thriving” business is accused of thieving $11 million of federal financial loans intended to assist struggling businesses for the duration of the pandemic, claiming he had hundreds of workforce for one application when, in truth, he had none, court paperwork said.

IRS felony investigators allege Meelad Dezfooli, of Henderson, fraudulently received far more than $11.2 million in PPP loans to buy residences and autos and to fund investments. The Paycheck Security Software was meant to support companies fork out and retain staff members throughout the very first yr of the coronavirus pandemic.

A sponsored short article from a lender on a economic magazine’s web-site identified as Dezfooli “the dreamer” in 2019, declaring he “built a flourishing flooring business out of the ashes of the economic downturn in the late 2000s.”

The 8 News Now I-Team visited the place, locating it closed. All of Dezfooli’s apps mentioned the East Sunset Street deal with, courtroom files stated. (KLAS)

In April 2020, Dezfooli, who determined himself as the supervisor and proprietor of Ideal Floors, inflated the company’s staff count and payroll, investigators wrote in court files.

Dezfooli’s software stated a business handle around Harry Reid International Airport on East Sunset Road, but “Best Flooring did not have a lease at this deal with when the application was submitted,” investigators reported in courtroom paperwork.

The 8 Information Now I-Crew frequented the locale, obtaining it shut. All of Dezfooli’s applications detailed the East Sunset Highway address, court docket documents reported.

Dezfooli’s application for a PPP personal loan claimed Best Floors’ “average monthly payroll” was about $440,000 to protect 76 staff members, investigators mentioned in courtroom files. Investigators said Dezfooli experienced a quarterly payroll of considerably less than $1,400 and a single employee.

The 8 Information Now I-Team frequented the locale, discovering it shut. (KLAS)

“Dezfooli falsely licensed that the financial loan resources would be made use of to retain personnel and manage payroll, in accordance with PPP loans, when, in reality, Dezfooli intended to divert the majority of the proceeds for particular benefit,” investigators reported.

In addition, investigators reported Dezfooli falsely claimed the business had paid $5.2 million in wages in 2019, when, the “wage payments had been considerably lower” and the enterprise did not file a type declaring wages that year.

The Nevada State Contractors Board cited Dezfooli and Finest Floors in May possibly 2020, a month right after he submitted for the bank loan. The board has since revoked his license.

Dezfooli is accused of falsely declaring he experienced 477 employees for just one organization known as Nevada Revenue when there ended up none, investigators stated. The business enterprise was also reportedly run by the Sunset Highway place. (KLAS)

Also in April 2020, investigators mentioned Dezfooli used for a PPP personal loan of almost $1.5 million by a second company, which he “identified himself as the CEO” and operator, investigators claimed.

That business, termed A-Series, had 10 personnel, in accordance to state records in 2020, but Dezfooli described getting 96 workers, investigators claimed. Dezfooli also said the enterprise was at the Sunset Street tackle. An additional mortgage for A-Sequence explained the business had compensated more than $7 million in wages in 2019. As part of the application approach, Dezfooli submitted a “fraudulent NV Electricity utility invoice,” investigators claimed.

A 3rd firm, Nevada Income, also gained PPP dollars, investigators stated. Dezfooli is accused of falsely saying he experienced 477 personnel when there have been none, investigators said. The company was also reportedly run via the Sunset Street site.

Investigators said they tracked the funds to houses in Las Vegas and Henderson, and the buy of a Tesla and Bentley, paperwork mentioned.

The Nevada Condition Contractors Board cited Dezfooli and Very best Flooring in May well 2020, a month right after he filed for the mortgage. The board has considering the fact that revoked his license. (KLAS)

As of March, IRS felony investigators experienced opened extra than 600 instances involving suspected tax fraud and dollars laundering relevant to COVID income, totaling about $1.8 billion, officers explained.

“Unfortunately, even for the duration of periods of crisis, criminals pop their heads out to glance for strategies to take edge of those in their most susceptible state,” IRS Legal Investigator Main Jim Lee claimed in a assertion before this year. “Thanks to the investigative function of IRS-CI distinctive agents and our regulation enforcement partners, we’ve ensured criminals who consider to defraud CARES Act courses experience consequences for their actions.”

A public defender for Dezfooli reported he could not comment on pending litigation. The Federal Reserve Board, investigators with the Modest Business Administration, and the FDIC aided in the circumstance.

Any person with information about Dezfooli or other suspected monetary fraud scenarios can speak to IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent Arlette Lee at 702-868-5093.