It was a hearing like any other, except for the lawyer who couldn’t figure out how to turn off the cat filter on his Zoom call during a hearing in Texas’ 394th Judicial District Court. A clip of the incident featuring the fluffy grey feline has since gone viral.
Small business owners who deal in large cash transactions have to be very careful about who they do business with. Some of their customers could be criminals trying to launder illegal proceeds, and if an unsuspecting business owner fails to report suspicious activity, federal agents may come knocking.
This was the scenario “celebrity jeweler” Zameer Lokhandwala, 46, of Frisco, TX, recently found himself in. The jeweler, whose client roster reportedly includes current and former Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks as well as famous rappers, is required to justify certain business transactions in order to convince the government he isn’t in league with alleged drug dealers.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed an indictment Thursday charging a Dallas-area man for his alleged participation in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking approximately $24.8 million from a federal COVID-19 relief program.
Dinesh Sah, 55, of Coppell, TX, was charged with three counts of wire fraud, three counts of bank fraud, and one count of money laundering. He was arrested on September 16 and remains in custody. The press did not name an attorney for him.
A federal civil asset forfeiture complaint was filed last Friday against Houston Independent School District’s (HISD) former Chief Operating Officer (COO) Brian Busby, who is accused of receiving cash kickbacks from a landscaping contractor for a series of projects that were never performed.
The forfeiture complaint is seeking to confiscate more than $185,000 that was seized in February 2020 from the residences of Busby and the contractor. Though Busby has not been charged with a crime, the filing alleges that the money is traceable to “the proceeds of federal programs theft and wire fraud.” It is unclear if Busby has acquired legal representation.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced fraud charges against a Texas man accused of fraudulently obtaining $1.1 million in federal loans earmarked for small businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Joshua Thomas Argires, 29, of Houston was charged with making false statements to a financial institution, engaging in unlawful monetary transactions, wire fraud, and bank fraud. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.