A man who used to live in Connecticut is accused of defrauding several lenders of more than $3 million to fund his pita manufacturing business.
Mohsen Youssef, 26, formerly of Vernon, was arrested in Canada on March 1 and now faces a 14-count indictment, which he pled not guilty to on Thursday, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
The indictment claims that Youssef defrauded various banks, a corporate leasing and vendor finance company and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development in an alleged scheme to secure funds for his business, Amoun Pita and Distribution LLC, and other companies he controls.
Youssef's business plan said his company was a bakery that manufactured pocket pita bread from a South Windsor facility, the state prosecutor's office said.
Youssef provided lenders with false information when obtaining loans, lines of credit, lease financing and state grants to buy machinery for his pita-making business. The lenders, collectively, lost more than $3 million as a part of Youssef's alleged scheme, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Court documents state that Youssef applied to the state for a $300,000 job-creation loan and a $100,000 matching grant and sent false information to state officials about the financial health of the company when the businesses bank account's balance was only $33.62.
Youssef, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Egypt, moved to Canada in 2014. He is currently being detained.
Youssef was charged with two counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of bank fraud and one count of mail fraud.