(STL.News) – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that on Friday, October 2, Ahmad Kanan, 49, Madison, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to two separate federal crimes charged in two separate indictments: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act fraud and access device fraud.
While acting on behalf of Altin Labs, Inc. as its Chief Executive Officer and majority owner, Kanan applied for two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans funded by the CARES Act. Specifically, in April 2020, Kanan applied for a $72,500 PPP loan through the Bank of Kaukauna in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. The Bank of Kaukauna noted a discrepancy in the spelling of Kanan’s name in the application, and Altin Labs did not receive these funds. In May 2020, Kanan again applied for a PPP loan, requesting $47,060 through Cross River Bank located in New Jersey. This time, Altin Labs received the funds. Kanan admitted that in his PPP applications, he used a false spelling of his name and indicated that he was not under indictment on criminal charges, when in fact he was the subject of an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin in October 2019, charging him with access device fraud.
The separate access device charges related to two family-owned gas stations that Kanan operated in Janesville, Wisconsin. Kanan admitted to using the routing and account numbers from the bank account of the Embassy of Libya-Military Attaché to pay to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue sales and use tax, penalties, and interest owed by his gas stations in the amount of $83,783.41 in July 2017, and $108,053.02 in December 2017. The Libyan Embassy did not give Kanan permission to use their bank account to make these payments.
U.S. District Judge William M. Conley scheduled sentencing for January 6, 2021. Kanan faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the CARES Act fraud and 10 years on the access device fraud.
The charges against Kanan are the result of investigations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the U.S. State Department, and the Small Business Administration. The U.S. Attorney’s Office would like to thank the Libyan Embassy for its cooperation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary Corey and Meredith Duchemin are handling the prosecution.