RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) – A 59-year-old Temecula man was arrested Wednesday on federal charges that he pilfered hundreds of thousands of dollars from the over $7 million he fraudulently received through the Paycheck Protection Program, using some of it to buy a luxury car and even trying to wire $150,000 of it to the African nation of Mauritania.
Oumar Sissoko was set to be arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Riverside on four counts of wire fraud.READ MORE: Pine Fire Near Palmdale Scorches 442 Acres, 79% Contained
According to federal prosecutors, in May of 2020, Sissoko received a $7.25 million loan for his purported pothole repair company, Road Doctor.
He claimed in his application that Road Doctor was slated to hire 450 full-time employees and had a monthly payroll of $2.9 million, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release Wednesday.
However, after receiving the money — which was supposed to go to employee payroll, utility payments, mortgage payments and the like – Sissoko instead bought himself a luxury car for $100,000, the Justice Department alleges.READ MORE: $25 Million Challenge Grant Made For Wildlife Crossing In Agoura Hills
He tried to wire $150,000 to a minerals exploration company in Mauritania for which he claimed to be the CEO, prosecutors said. He made a $100,000 payment to purchase a company in New Hampshire
He also purchased a $6,000 computer.
It’s unclear if any of the PPP money actually went to Road Doctor.
He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the four counts.MORE NEWS: Pedestrian Struck and Killed In Compton
The $349 billion PPP program money – which was approved as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) in late March of 2020 — dried up so quickly that Congress was forced to pass a second relief package in April which includes another $310 billion.