Father-and-son restaurant team are sentenced for cheating on their PPP applications

Izzat and Tarik Freitekh were sentenced to 36 and 87 months in prison, respectively, for defrauding the aid program.
PPP fraud sentence
The pair were each given multi-year sentences. / Photo: Shutterstock

A father and son who run a restaurant and catering operation in  North Carolina have been sentenced to jail time for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) out of $1.7 million.

Izzat Freitekh, 57, and Tarik Freitekh, 35, were sentenced to 36 and 87 months in prison, respectively, after being convicted of submitting multiple fraudulent applications for PPP loans, which were intended to help businesses stay afloat early in the pandemic. The two misstated the number of employees and the size of the payroll their businesses had supported before the crisis, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Those businesses included a restaurant in Charlotte, N.C., named La Shish Kabob, a catering company called La Shish Kabob Catering, and a second caterer called Green Apple Catering.

In addition, the pair diverted at least a portion of the $1.7 million they collected for personal use, Justice said. For instance, the department said in a press announcement, $30,000 was given to family members for their use.

Justice said it recovered $1.3 million from the Freitekhs and distributed it to other PPP applicants before scammers were sentenced.

The defendants were convicted in March but not sentenced until Dec. 6.


Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


It's time to send 'ghost kitchen' to the graveyard

Tech Check: The catch-all term for delivery restaurants is no longer accurate. Let’s lay it to rest and come up with a new label.


Higher-end consumers may be slowing their spending

The Bottom Line: There is some evidence that higher-income consumers may be cutting back. Or maybe there was just some pent-up demand.


Wonder bets meal kits aren't dead yet

Tech Check: By acquiring the struggling Blue Apron, the restaurant delivery concept believes it can touch more dining occasions. But will it work?


More from our partners