NewsLocal NewsInvestigations

Actions

3 brothers charged with defrauding government out of millions of dollars of COVID funds with fake farms

Fake Farms 1.jpg
Posted at 12:55 PM, Dec 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-07 12:55:22-05

CLEVELAND — Three brothers are facing federal charges for allegedly swindling the government out of millions of dollars in pandemic relief money.

The brothers are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated theft, according to court records.

The government gave millions of dollars to more than two dozen businesses that listed a single residence as their address.

The businesses, with names like Fresh Ohio Berries, Ohio Natural Beets and Organic Ohio Broccoli, only existed on paper, government officials said.

The homeowner, Zaur Kalantarli, and his two brothers were indicted Monday.

The feds say the brothers created more than 70 fake farming companies to get their hands on money meant to help struggling businesses during the pandemic.

In total, they received nearly $7 million.

RELATED:

You can watch more about the fake farms in the player below:

Feds: Six family members received $7.4 million in pandemic loans by creating fake Ohio farms

Watch live and local news any time:
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.

You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.

Download our streaming app on your favorite device.  Click here for more.

Click here to see stories with Hope and Heart.

5 On Your Side Investigators Contact Form
Do you have an issue or story that you want 5 On Your Side Investigators to look into? Email InvestigatorTips@wews.com or fill out the form below.