Charlotte restaurant owner, son sentenced after COVID-19 relief fraud conviction

CHARLOTTE — A father and son convicted of stealing nearly $2 million from the federal government were sentenced Tuesday to several years in prison.

Back in March, a jury found Izzat Freitekh and his son, Tarik, guilty of misusing $1.7 million in COVID relief funds.

Izzat Freitekh, 57, owns the east Charlotte restaurant La Shish Kabob, which is at the center of the investigation. He was found guilty of money laundering and false statements.

Tarik Freitekh, 35, was found guilty of bank and wire fraud charges, as well as money laundering and falsifying materials. Channel 9′s Joe Bruno was in the courtroom that day and said Tarik passed out after the verdict was read. The courtroom was then cleared and 911 was called. Tarik was examined by MEDIC and was found to be OK.

On Tuesday, Izzat Freitekh was sentenced to four years in prison. His son was sentenced to more than seven years.

U.S. Attorney Dena King previously praised the prosecutors and investigators for their work on this case.

“This father-son duo took advantage of a national crisis and funds that would have been used by many citizens to be used for many good things. This father-son duo did the wrong thing with those funds,” she had said.

Federal investigators said they have recovered nearly all the money in the case.

(PREVIOUS: Father, son found guilty in COVID-19 fraud trial involving east Charlotte restaurant)