Charges: MN man stuffed bank account, got new pool with COVID relief money

Federal charges say he filed a fake loan application to secure PPP funding, which he used on himself.
Author:
Publish date:

A Maple Grove man is facing federal charges, accused of using more than $500,000 in Paycheck Protection Program funds to install a pool at his home and pad his personal bank account. 

Aditya Raj Sharma, 47, is charged with one count of wire fraud in connection to his alleged attempt to defraud the U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release

The CARES Act provided billions of dollars in forgivable PPP loans to small businesses to use on payroll costs and other expenses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But Sharma is accused of defrauding the program by filing a fake loan application to receive $562,500 in PPP money, which he used on personal expenses. 

He was arrested on Nov. 13 and made his initial court appearance on Monday. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office, citing court documents, says Sharma was the founder and CEO of a cloud-based software development company Crosscode Inc. in California until he was fired in November 2019. 

In May of this year, he created a cloud-computing technology company called Kloudgaze Inc. and on April 26 he submitted a fake loan application in the name of "Crosscode dba Kloudgaze" seeking $562,500 in PPP money. 

The application made several false claims, including that Sharma was the owner and CEO of Crosscode, which did business under the name Kloudgaze; that he had 29 employees though state records show he paid no wages to a Kloudgaze employee; and that Kloudgaze was in operation on Feb. 15, the release says. He also included fabricated bank statements with his application. 

On April 29, Sharma's PPP loan application was approved and he received $562,500 in funds – none of which he used toward small business expenses as is required by law, the release claims.

Instead, he transferred $500,000 of the PPP money to a personal bank account, spent $5,000 on a down payment toward the installation of a $64,300 pool at his home, and transferred about $14,000 to a financial account in India, prosecutors allege. 

The U.S. Department of Justice asks anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 to report it by calling 866-720-5721 or by filling out a complaint form online here

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 9.29.12 AM

Target reveals its 'Cyber Week' online deals

The sales will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.

Minneapolis police

Mayor Frey, Minneapolis police chief reveal new 'no-knock' policy

The new policy for Minneapolis Police Department was announced Wednesday.

Teddy Bridgewater

Coller: It's a what-if Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater's return

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Ambulance hospital emergency

15-month-old girl's death being investigated by police in Fargo

The child died four days after being found unresponsive.

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

Related

money, cash, $100

MN man charged with fraudulently obtaining $841,000 in COVID-19 PPP loans

He applied for the loans for a business that had been shut down in 2018.

magazines

60 charged in magazine scam that netted $300M

It's being called the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.

court gavel

Plymouth man who defrauded woman out of her life savings is sentenced to prison

He's accused of using her money to buy a BMW, hot tub and pay a family member's tuition.

police lights

Charges: 3 men used guns in separate carjackings in the Twin Cities

There has been a spike in carjackings in Minneapolis this year.

united-states-capitol-1675540_1920

Where does the next federal COVID-19 relief package stand?

Democrats and Republicans have both put out their proposals for a second relief package, but have so far failed to reach an agreement.

dr. michael osterholm

Relief fund will support families of healthcare workers who died of COVID-19

Dr. Michael Osterholm has partnered with the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation to launch the Frontline Families Fund.

Minnesota man who 'died' in 2011 is arrested – alive – in Europe

He is accused of faking his death in order to get a $2 million life insurance payout.