Foreign national and former Utah State University student club president facing federal charges relating to CARES Act COVID-19 fraud


Date: April 6, 2023


A federal grand jury in Utah returned an indictment charging a foreign national and former religious club president at Utah State University with CARES Act fraud. 

According to the indictment, Mubarak Sulaiman Ukashat, of Kaysville, Utah, who was living in Taylorsville, Utah, at the time of the alleged crime, executed a scheme to steal money intended for small businesses seeking COVID-19 economic relief loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. As stated in the indictment, between June 2020 and July 2020, Ukashat, a former Utah State University Student Association Muslim Students Club President, submitted four fraudulent EIDL applications to the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA). He used the names of four people he had no connection to and directed the proceeds to be sent to the USUSA Muslim Students Club bank account at America First Credit Union, over which Ukashat had custody and control. Ukashat then used wire transfers to move the EIDL proceeds into another America First Credit Union account, over which he had ownership and control and held jointly with a relative before spending the CARES Act funds on unauthorized personal expenses. In total, the former USU graduate student allegedly applied for, illegally obtained, and misused over $300,000 in EIDL funds, for his own personal expenses. Ukashat’s expenses included purchasing a $45,900 GMC Yukon in cash; paying personal expenses, including at least $27,000 to electronic retailers; $21,000 to pay off a car loan; $20,000 in apparent debt payments; $10,000 in earnest money to buy a house; $5,200 for college expenses; other cash withdrawals, wires, and miscellaneous household purchases; and the wiring of approximately $15,000 to someone in Nigeria and $20,000 to someone in Dubai. 

Ukashat is charged with four counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and two counts of money laundering. The defendant is scheduled for his initial court appearance April 7, 2023, at 2:15 p.m. in courtroom 8.4 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge at the Orrin G. Hatch United States District Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah.

U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah made the announcement.

The case is being investigated by IRS – Criminal Investigation (CI).

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Todd Bouton, of the District of Utah is prosecuting the case. 

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit and

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 via the NCDF Web Complaint Form.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.