North Texas wedding planner sentenced for using COVID funds to buy Teslas, Mercedes

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A North Texas wedding planner was sentenced on Thursday to 31 months in a federal prison for bilking the Paycheck Protection Program out of more than $3.3 million in a COVID-19 fraud scheme.

Federal authorities said the planner from Murphy used the money to pay off his home mortgage and purchase two Teslas and a Mercedes, among other items.

The money in the program from the Small Business Administration was to be used by businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Federal authorities identified the suspect as Fahad Shah, 45, of Murphy, who also was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Murphy is about 55 miles northeast of Fort Worth.

Shah pleaded guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud.

The Murphy man sought approximately $3.3 million in PPP funds by claiming that his family’s business, WBF Weddings by Farah Inc., employed more than 100 individuals and paid millions of dollars in compensation to those employees, according to federal court documents.

WBF had no employees other than Shah and his wife.

Based on Shah’s false representations and forged documents, an SBA-approved lender provided over $1.5 million in PPP loan funds to Shah based on Shah’s false representation and forged documents, according to federal authorities.

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