An Ashburn woman made her initial appearance in federal court Wednesday afternoon for conspiracy to commit wire fraud after allegedly submitting false loan applications in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak that resulted in the disbursement of over $1.4 million in proceeds under the Paycheck Protection Program.
Monica Magdalena Jaworska, 43, and her husband and co-defendant, Tarik Jaafar, 42, were arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport on June 20, as they were attempting to flee to Poland, the U.S. District Attorney's Office said in a news release.
According to court documents, between April and May, Jaworska and Jaafar submitted 18 PPP loan applications containing materially false statements to 12 financial institutions in the names of four business entities. Relief provided by the CARES Act authorized up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain permissible expenses, including payroll costs, rent, and utilities.
The applications submitted by Jaworska and Jaafar allegedly were false because they claimed certain payroll tax returns were filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for each of the four businesses, when they were not in fact filed with the IRS, the news release said.
As a result of the false statements, three financial institutions disbursed four loans totaling $1,438,500. While some of the funds were subsequently frozen, Jaafar was able to withdraw at least $30,000 in cash.
If convicted, Jaworska and Jaafar each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Agents from the FBI’s John F. Kennedy International Airport Resident Agency, which included agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, assisted in the arrest.