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Former Microsoft executive Mukund Mohan arrested on US charges with $ 5.5 million fraud in coronavirus relief fund

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BENGALURU: Mukund Mohan, who studied computer science at the University of Mysore and became director of engineering at Microsoft in the United States before becoming an entrepreneur, was arrested and charged Thursday by the United States Attorney’s office. to fraudulently request more than $ 5.5 million in coronavirus. relief funds.
Mohan is said to have applied for eight loans to six of his companies under the United States’ Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans to companies to retain workers during the pandemic. If the money is used for specific purposes, it can even become a grant.
The complaint alleges that Mohan did not employ a single person in those companies, and some did not even have a business.
Mohan became a popular face in the Bengaluru startup ecosystem when he moved here from the US in 2008, first to start his own company and then to lead the newly founded Microsoft startup accelerator program. He returned to the US with a new role at Microsoft in 2014. He left Microsoft in 2015. His LinkedIn profile says he was director of product management at Amazon between 2016 and 2018, and later lists a number of startups from which is part. He also describes himself as the CTO of BuildDirect, an American online home improvement company.
The United States Attorney’s complaint states with reference to one of the loan applications that “Mohan submitted false and altered documents, including false federal tax returns and altered incorporation documents.”
Mohan allegedly transferred the money he received to his personal brokerage account with financial services company Robinhood.
One of the companies to which he applied for a loan was called Mahenjo. The complaint alleges that Mohan made numerous false and misleading statements in this regard, including that on February 15, 2020, the company was in operation and had employees for whom it paid wages and payroll taxes or paid independent contractors; that in 2019, his payroll expenses were more than $ 2.3 million; and that Mahenjo’s average monthly payroll expenses were at least $ 172,250.
The complaint says that Mahenjo was actually a “shelf company”, one that had no business or employees. In his LinkedIn profile, Mohan describes Mahenjo as the world’s largest hard surface flooring catalog and product information database.
The other companies on behalf of which Mohan sought to obtain loans are Zuput, Zigantic, GitGrow, Vangal, and Expect Success.

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