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Tax Preparer Admits to $23 Million PPP Loan Fraud Scheme

City & State

Picture depicting a gavel and scales. | Image by William Potter

The owner of a tax preparation company in Dallas has admitted to defrauding the COVID-19 relief program of $23 million.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, 43-year-old Steven Jalloul, an accountant and a Liberian national, pleaded guilty to masterminding a fraud scheme that received over $23 million in federal Paycheck Protection Program money meant to help small businesses survive the pandemic. The U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that Jalloul pleaded guilty to the accusation on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

Jalloul was already heading to prison after being sentenced to six years in jail for a previous tax-related conviction. Jalloul had pleaded guilty to tax crimes in January 2020, then committed the PPP crimes while on pretrial release.

Federal prosecutors said Jalloul was arrested last fall. Following his arrest, he admitted to inflating the number of employees for clients to get them more money from the relief program.

Prosecutors added that the 43-year-old attempted to get $23 million on behalf of over 160 clients, with ninety-seven of those loans approved. Jalloul’s client received $12 million, and he was paid around $1 million for his services.

Jalloul’s recent home address is an apartment complex in Garland. His neighbors revealed that he drove fancy cars and wore expensive clothes. Jalloul also listed a North Dallas office building as his business address.

Jalloul now faces up to ten years in prison and is currently awaiting his sentencing.

Prosecutors did not reveal if the businesses were conspiring with Jalloul or knew that they were receiving more money than they should have been given. The Small Business Administration will also decide if it will take back part of the $12 million that was handed out to Jalloul’s clients.

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