Indictment: Minnesota man used Federal CARES Act money to pay for pool

The Minnesota-based founder and CEO of a tech company has been arrested and indicted after he allegedly used federal Paycheck Protection Program money to build a pool and enrich himself.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis announced the indictment Monday saying Aditya Raj Sharma, 47, of Maple Grove committed wire fraud when he used the $562,500 for his own benefit and not to help his company.  

Sharma founded Crosscode Inc., a cloud-based software development company headquartered in California, but was removed as an officer and terminated in Nov. 2019. In May 2020, he created a new technology company called Kloudgaze Inc. and submitted a “false and fraudulent loan application” seeking the $562,500 after the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

He claimed the company had been working since February, even though he did not create Kloudgaze until May 2020. He stated his new company had approximately 29 employees on the payroll even though records show he never paid any wages.

According to the indictment, Sharma instead put $500,000 of the money into a personal bank account, made a $5,000 down payment on a $64,300 pool and transferred another $14,000 to a bank account in India.

For misusing the Federal CARES Act funds, Sharma faces one count of wire fraud. The FBI investigated the case.