Doctor used COVID loan money for down payment on $1.7m yacht, officials say
NEW YORK (WPIX) – A New York doctor was sentenced to 51 months in prison on Friday after fraudulently obtained more than $3 million in COVID emergency loans, officials said.
Dr Konstantinos Zarkadas used the money to buy a $1.7 million yacht, rent luxury automobiles and get Rolex and Cartier wristwatches, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. He pleaded guilty in November 2021 to disaster relief fraud and wire fraud in connection with obtaining small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program and the Disaster Loan Program. economic.
“Today’s sentencing demonstrates that there are consequences for those who treat vital government programs like cash handouts and shamefully seek to profit from an unprecedented public health crisis,” the U.S. attorney said. Breon Peace in a Friday press release. “This office will vigorously prosecute and bring to justice medical professionals like the defendant and other fraudsters who are driven by greed to maintain lavish lifestyles at the expense of small businesses who rightfully need medical help. COVID-19 emergency.”
Zarkadas, 48, fraudulently applied for and received at least 11 loans between March and July 2020, officials said. He then laundered the money and used it to “eextravagant personal purchases,” including a nearly $200,000 down payment on a yacht.
“Thanks to the investigative work of the IRS-CI and the FBI, he will sail directly to federal prison instead of boarding his $1.7 million yacht illegally purchased with CARES Act funds. “said Thomas Fattorusso, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) of New York.
In addition to his 51-month sentence, Zarkadas was ordered to pay approximately $3.5 million in restitution.
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