Charlotte tax preparer is sentenced to prison for scheme to obtain 780,000 dollars in fraudulent coronavirus relief funds and money laundering


Date: March 28, 2024


Zadih Cadyma, of Charlotte, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for fraudulently obtaining $780,000 in COVID-19 pandemic relief loans and money laundering, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Cadyma was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $762,952.

Donald “Trey” Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Charlotte Field Office, and Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in North Carolina join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to court documents, Cadyma was a tax return preparer who owned and operated CFE Tax Services in Charlotte and other registered businesses. From 2020 to 2021, Cadyma applied for 10 fraudulent COVID-19 loans from the Economic Injury Relief Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) and three Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for his businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In the loan applications, Cadyma made false representations about his businesses, including gross revenues, monthly payroll expenses, number of employees, and other covered operational expenditures. As a result, Cadyma fraudulently received $550,000 under the EIDL program and $230,000 in PPP loan proceeds. Contrary to claims Cadyma made on the loan applications that the funds would be used for legitimate and permissible business purposes, Cadyma used the loan proceeds for his own benefit and to support his lifestyle, including to purchase a new luxury vehicle.

On April 27, 2023, Cadyma pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked IRS-CI and the FBI for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham Billings prosecuted the case.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866‑720‑5721 or via the NCDF web complaint form.