COVID-19 aid program doled out $7.2M for man’s fake farming firms: report

COVID-19 aid program doled out $7.2M for man’s fake farming firms: report


The owner of a single-family Ohio home received $7.2 million in federal loans and grants intended for agricultural businesses decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic — but no signs of farming activity can be found at the residence, according to a report.

Zaur Kalantarli, who immigrated to the US from Azerbaijan in 2015, owns the home in Euclid, where 20 companies with names such as Organic Ohio Berries LLC and Garlic Farming LLC were registered, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

Nothing is sprouting on the one-eighth-acre plot aside from trees and grass, yet the firms were among dozens that won government approval for loans and grants from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster program, according to state and federal records.

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Kalantarli and his relatives created 72 companies with farming-related names at three addresses in the Cleveland area, but there’s no indication of agricultural activity at any of them or that they were active by the Feb. 1 requirement, Bloomberg reported.

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