Lexington man who lost fraudulent COVID relief funds on Robinhood is sentenced

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A Lexington man, Shaan Ti Diyali, 37, was sentenced on Monday to six months in federal prison, by U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell, for wire fraud, according to a DOJ press release.

Evidence presented at trial established that Diyali’s personal information was used to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for an insurance business via an online portal.  Diyali received an EIDL of $49,000.  Once he received the funds, Diyali placed the funds in Robinhood, a stock exchange.  Ultimately, Diyali lost all of the money he received from the EIDL.  The evidence further established that the insurance business never conducted any business and never made income, rendering the income that was stated in the EIDL application false. 

Diyali testified that he had no intent to defraud the United States, that a friend, whom he trusted, told him that the money was “free money,” and that his friend used Diyali’s personal information to apply for the loan. However, Diyali also admitted that he actually received the funds into his personal bank account and placed the funds into his Robinhood account. 

Diyali was convicted in August 2022.

Under federal law, Diyali must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  He will also be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for two years after his release from prison.  Diyali is also required to pay restitution to the United States.