Maple Grove Man Pleads Guilty to PPP Fraud Scheme
MINNEAPOLIS – A Maple Grove man pleaded guilty Wednesday to fraudulently applying for over $9.6 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, of which he fraudulently received more than $1.7 million.
According to court documents, 47-year-old Aditya Sharma, was the founder, CEO, and president of Crosscode Inc., a cloud-based software development company originally headquartered in Maple Grove.
In November 2019, Sharma was removed as an officer and terminated from the company by Crosscode’s board of directors.
Between May 2020 and July 2020, Sharma created three separate technology companies, Kloudgaze Inc., Neoforma LLC, and Mokume LLC.
From April 2020 through August 2020, Sharma applied for 16 loans for $9.6 million through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) from ten different lenders by submitting false and fraudulent applications under the names of his various technology companies.
As a result of Sharma’s fraud scheme, lenders approved three of his PPP applications and deposited nearly $1.8 million in PPP funds into bank accounts controlled by Sharma.
Rather than using the money for permissible business expenses, Sharma used the money to pay off unrelated legal debts, fund new business ventures, transfer approximately $14,000 to a financial account in India, and pay for home improvements, including landscaping and the installation of a $64,000 backyard pool at his home.
On May 17, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to use the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721.
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