Virginia man used coronavirus crisis loans to purchase small plane, luxury car: Federal prosecutors

The 2.5 million in loans were meant to help keep people employed during the coronavirus pandemic

A man in Virginia lied to obtain $2.5 million in loans that were meant to help keep people employed during the coronavirus pandemic, which he later used to purchase a luxury car and his own airplane, according to prosecutors.

Continue Reading Below

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said Tuesday that Didier Kindambu, 48, of Leesburg obtained two loans worth approximately $2,501,753, and then spent those funds.

Kindambu allegedly carried out the scheme in connection with two businesses he owns by creating fraudulent payroll documentation for each business.

DOJ CHARGES TEXAS BILLIONAIRE IN $2 BILLION TAX FRAUD SCHEME

The loans were through the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was established to help businesses struggling during the novel coronavirus pandemic pay wages to their employees.

Kindambu's LinkedIn page lists him as the president of Papillon Air Inc., a cargo and charter company based at Leesburg Executive Airport. He also applied for loans in the name of Papillon Holdings, according to the criminal complaint.

Didier Kindambu, 48, of Leesburg, Va. was charged with one count of bank fraud, according to officials. (Alexandria Sheriff's Office)

The criminal complaint states the amount of money spent from company accounts did not match state or federal records. Prosecutors said the 48-year-old began paying staff in June through another company called Papillon Maintenance Services, but names did not match those on his PPP loans, with salaries that were also far lower.

APPLYING FOR PPP FORGIVENESS? HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO KNOW

Kindambu is accused of spending the money on items such as a Lexas automobile and a Cessna aircraft. The aircraft was seized at the Leesburg airport on Tuesday morning by authorities.

A man in Virginia fraudulently used $2.5 million in loans that were meant to help keep people employed during the coronavirus pandemic he later to purchase a luxury car and his own airplane, similar to the Cessna in this photo, according to prosecuto (Steve Nesius/Getty Images)

Kevin Carroll, an attorney for Kindambu, told FOX5 his client is "a respected businessman" and a member of the community. He said he Tuesday due to COVID-19 he didn't yet get the chance to speak to his client privately.

"I have yet even been provided the charging document by the government," he told FOX5. "The government alleges one set of facts, and I'm eager to hear my client's version of the story."

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Kindambu is charged with one count of bank fraud. He did not enter a plea on Tuesday.

If he’s convicted, Kindambu could face 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, according to officials.

READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS BY CLICKING HERE