By Lukas I. Alpert
Here’s a prescription for a stint in jail.
A Long Island doctor has pleaded guilty to stealing $3.7 million in COVID-19 relief aid and using the cash to buy a luxury yacht and numerous Rolex and Cartier watches.
Konstantinos Zarkadas, a 48-year-old internist from Glen Cove, N.Y. admitted he filed 11 applications for disaster relief between March and July 2020 for corporate entities he controlled, but then used the taxpayer money to bankroll his lavish lifestyle.
According to court documents, Zarkadas took nearly $200,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans to use as a down payment for a $1.75 million yacht. To hide what he was doing, prosecutors say Zarkadas wrote a check for the payment to a relative with the memo line stating it was “repayment for payroll.”
Zarkadas was also accused of using tens of thousands of dollars to lease luxury cars and buy multiple Rolex and Cartier watches.
Prosecutors say he also used some of the money to help pay nearly $1 million in prior legal judgments he had against him. Zarkadas was accused of shuttling the money between numerous bank accounts to obscure the source of the funds.
“Dr. Zarkadas chose greed over honesty by financing a luxury lifestyle on the backs of America’s taxpayers,” said Thomas Fattorusso, a criminal investigator with the Internal Revenue Service.
Numbers listed for Zarkadas were disconnected and no attorney was listed for him in court records.
Zarkadas faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced and will have to forfeit $3.8 million, prosecutors said.