Indictment Alleging Fraud By Phony Pita Company May Fuel Lembo’s Bill
HARTFORD, CT — The indictment of a former Vernon man charged with scheming to secure funding for a fake pocket pita company may give new momentum to legislation that would toughen oversight of state tax credits and economic incentives.
The former Vernon man, Mohsen Youssef, 26, was charged last week by U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly for allegedly supplying false information about his pita company when applying for loans, lines of credit, lease financing, and state grants. According to the indictment, at least $400,000 of the $3 million Youssef obtained came from the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Small Business Express Program.
Youssef, who has dual U.S. and Egyptian citizenship, pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been detained since his arrest.
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo was unable to convince Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy last year to sign a bill that would allow for the examination of certain business tax credits and economic incentives, like the ones Youssef received.