Oregon dentist charged with stealing nearly $8M in COVID-19 relief funds

An Oregon dentist has been charged over allegations that he stole nearly $8 million of COVID-19 relief funds for personal use.

Salwan Adjaj, DMD, of West Linn, Ore., was charged with aggravated identity theft and wire fraud, the Justice Department said in a Dec. 15 news release. Beginning in March, he allegedly submitted dozens of fraudulent loan applications to the Small Business Administration in an attempt to benefit from the Economic Impact Disaster Loan program, which was enacted to financially assist small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Small Business Administration rejected most of Dr. Adjaj's applications, after which he allegedly submitted three fraudulent applications to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a COVID-19 economic relief program for food- and drink-related businesses.

Dr. Adjaj's dental license was suspended in August 2020 over multiple allegations of misconduct involving controlled substances, including ordering large quantities for personal use and distribution and practicing under the influence of controlled substances not prescribed to him.

Dr. Adjaj was arrested Dec. 14 and ordered to be detained pending court proceedings.

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