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Former Associate Of Oakland's Your Black Muslim Bakery Accused Of Trying To Rip-Off COVID Paycheck Protection Program

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Sharieff Dahood Bey, who has a major figure with Oakland's Your Black Muslim Bakery, has been charged by federal prosecutors with bank fraud for allegedly trying to rip off the Paycheck Protection Program, set up to assist businesses struggling during the COVID pandemic, for more than $22 million.

Bey, who also went by several aliases -- Attila Colar, Sharieff Dahood Bey, Sharieff Dahood Bey, Dawud Azadene and Attilla Collan -- was charged on Friday after an investigation involving several federal agencies.

He made his initial appearance in federal court on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore.

According to the criminal complaint filed by U.S. Attorney David Anderson, Bey -- who was charged under his birth name Attila Colar -- the 48-year-old Richmond resident submitted three applications between April and June of 2020, on behalf of Hercules-based non-profit All Hands on Deck, Inc.

All Hand on Deck is a non-profit that purports to provide housing "to men getting out of prison, food bank services, life and work skills, trainings, resiliency treatment services, prenatal life skills, and a variety of necessary know hows to survive in today's society."

Colar received over $1.1 million from one of those loans. The complaint separately alleges that six more applications were submitted in that same time period on behalf of two other entities linked to Colar -- The Family Investment Group, Inc. and Oversight Security, Inc.

The criminal complaint described how the loan applications were rife with false information, misleading statements, and glaring omissions.

"The Paycheck Protection Program is supposed to support everyday Americans suffering economic distress," Anderson said in a news release. "The complaint describes the methodical preparation of fraudulent loan applications to deprive the program of $22 million that is sorely needed by the public to endure this national crisis."

FBI Special Agent in Charge San Francisco John L. Bennett said the investigation unveiled an attempt by Colar to "fraudulently line his own pockets."

"Based on the FBI's investigation, Mr. Colar appears to have illegally used the Paycheck Protection Program to attempt to fraudulently line his own pockets," Bennett said. "The FBI is quickly and carefully investigating all claims of PPP fraud to ensure that American businesses aren't further victimized during this challenging time."

The PPP is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act is a federal law enacted in March of 2020 to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

PPP loan proceeds must be used by the business on certain permissible expenses—payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. The PPP allows the interest and principal on the PPP loan to be entirely forgiven if the business spends the loan proceeds on these expense items within a designated period of time and uses at least 60% of the PPP loan proceeds on payroll expenses. Loans made through the PPP are 100% guaranteed by the SBA.

The complaint alleges Colar prepared numerous loans for submission through the PPP. One such application, submitted in June 2020, requested $2 million from a bank in Salt Lake City, Utah. That loan was ultimately funded in the amount of $1,113,112.

The complaint alleges the application contained false information including bogus employee names, false payroll records, and fraudulent tax documents. For example, the application was supported by IRS Forms 941 that purported to establish All Hands on Deck employed 45 people in the third quarter of 2019 and 81 people in both the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. Nevertheless, the names of the purported employees not only included one of Colar's aliases, it also included two contractors and several current and former residents of All Hands on Deck, none of whom could support the information in the IRS forms.

Including the successful $2 million loan application submitted on behalf of All Hands on Deck in June, the complaint alleges Colar prepared several other loan applications, the following of which, were actually submitted to banks:

  • May 2020 -- All Hands on Deck -- $1,618,200
  • June 2020 -- All Hands on Deck -- $2,000,000
  • June 2020 -- The Family Investment Group -- $3,310,241.05
  • June 2020 -- The Family Investment Group -- $3,310,000.00
  • June 2020 -- Oversight Security, Inc. -- $2,893,149.79
  • June 2020 -- Oversight Security, Inc. -- $2,893,149.79
  • June 2020 -- Oversight Security, Inc. -- $1,896,063
  • June 2020 -- Oversight Security, Inc. -- $2,893,147

Federal prosecutors said Colar was charged with bank fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted.

Magistrate Judge Westmore ordered Colar released on a $100,000 bond. Colar's next federal court appearance is scheduled for October 27, 2020, for further proceedings.

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