Man passes out in North Carolina courtroom upon $1.7 million COVID fraud guilty verdict

FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 17

Here are your FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 17.

A man accused along with his father of fraud related to $1.7 million in COVID-19 relief funds passed out Thursday in a North Carolina federal courtroom when the pair were found guilty by a jury. 

Izzat Freitekh, 55, and his son, Tarik Freitekh, 33, a Southern California resident, both faced bank and wire fraud charges when they went on trial last week. Tarik Freitekh passed out after the verdict was read, FOX 46 Charlotte reported.

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A paramedic was called and Freitekh was examined. 

Federal prosecutors alleged the pair submitted falsified Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications for three companies, including the La Shish Kabob Restaurant, located in Charlotte, and another for La Shish Catering.

There was also an application that included fraudulent IRS tax documents submitted on behalf of Green Apple Catering LLC stating the restaurant had paid $4.8 million to employees since 2019 despite evidence the company didn't exist until March 2020, the Justice Department said. 

Another application on behalf of Arona Packaging Systems included false payroll information and IRS tax documents, prosecutors said. Izzat Freitekh also lied to investigators when he claimed a company called "Kyber Capital" was responsible for the loan applications, the Justice Department said. 

He will be allowed to remain out of jail until sentencing in six months. Tarik Freitekh was ordered detained due to his California residency, WSOC-TV reported.

The La Shish Kabob restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina. The owner, Izzat Freitekh, 55, and his son, Tarik Freitekh, 33, were convicted Thursday of fraud and bank charges related to $1.7 million in COVID-19 relief funds.  (Google Maps)

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The government has recovered $1.3 million of the PPP funds.

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