[Watch previous FOX 8 News coverage in the player above.]
CLEVELAND (WJW) — A Willoughby Hills man got nearly three years in prison for helping create fraudulent Ohio businesses that soaked up about $1.2 million in COVID-19 relief funds intended for small businesses.
A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced 38-year-old Aydin Kalantarov to 33 months in federal prison for his role in defrauding the U.S. Small Business Administration with help from his brothers Zaur and Ali Kalantarli, both of whom are still at-large.
Between May 2020 and October 2020, the siblings created 70 fake Ohio corporations that appeared to be agricultural businesses, with names like “Ohio Almonds and Peanuts” and “Ohio Organic Carrots,” according to a news release from Michelle Baeppler, first assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
They then claimed those fake businesses were hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and collected nearly $7 million in economic injury disaster loans provided under the CARES Act through 47 approved applications.
Kalantarov took $1.2 million, most of which he used to buy a home in California, according to the justice department.