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S.Sudanese man charged with Covid-relief fraud in the U.S

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Friday, June 26, 2020

The US government has charged a South Sudanese-American of fraudulently taking 2 million dollars from loans meant to support Small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Elijah Majak Buoi is a 38-year-old businessman in Winchester, a small suburban town in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States.

He is the president and CEO of an information technology services company called Sosuda Tech, LLC.

Elijah Majak was arrested on Monday and charged with allegedly filing fake loan applications seeking more than 13 million US dollars for his business as part of the coronavirus relief package.

In April 2020, the US Congress authorized over 300 billion dollars in additional funding to support Small Business who are suffering the economic effects caused by the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security allows qualifying small-businesses and other organizations to receive loans with an interest rate of 1 percent.

The loan proceeds must be used by business owners to pay workers, pay interest on mortgages, rent, and other utilities.

But according to the US Department of Justice, Majak tried to defraud the emergency program by misrepresenting the number of his employees and payroll expenses.

He is accused of also falsely indicating that his employees are all residence of the United States.

“…we believe that’s exactly what Elijah Buoi did,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.

Majak is further charged with allegedly submitting forged documentation and lying on at least 4 different loan applications for the emergency funds.

“It’s outrageous anyone would try to steal from a program that was set up to be a lifeline to businesses struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, designed to help businesses, and their employees, survive the most difficult economic crisis since the Great Depression,” said Lelling in a statement.

The Department of Justice submitted that Majak received $2 million from the $13 million he demanded.

But the US government said it has seized approximately $1.98 million from Majak’s business account.

The US Department of Justice has charged him in a criminal complaint with wire fraud before a federal court in Boston.

“This behavior is reprehensible, and my office is committed to rooting out and prosecuting this kind of fraud wherever we find it,” Lelling affirmed.

It, however, insists that Elijah Majak is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The alleged crime happened between April 2020 and June 2020.

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