In the throes of the pandemic, a Southern California businessman said he needed government help to support his struggling companies.

Mustafa Qadiri submitted multiple loan applications in search of federal funds to help his mortgage and advertising businesses, according to court records.

His Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications were approved and the government deposited roughly $5 million into multiple bank accounts controlled by Qadiri so the 38-year-old could pay his workers and cover other business-related expenses, court records state.

But the money never made it to the businesses he claimed to operate, federal prosecutors said.

Instead, Qadiri spent the money on himself, splurging on a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a Bentley, according to the government. He also spent some of the PPP funds on “lavish vacations” and other personal expenses, federal prosecutors said.

On Friday, authorities arrested and charged Qadiri with submitting counterfeit applications to several banks, stealing someone else’s identity and laundering the funds in connection with “sham businesses,” according to an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

“This type of offense is a real slap in the face to the people who really do need help,” Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California, told KABC-TV.

Qadiri, who has been released on bond, did not immediately respond to a message from The Washington Post. His attorney, Bilal Essayli, declined to comment when contacted by The Post late Monday.

The charges filed against Qadiri illustrate some of the issues that have plagued the federal Paycheck Protection Program since it was implemented last year to help small-business owners prevent layoffs.

The taxpayer-subsidized loan program is regulated by the Small Business Administration and has been the subject of fraud concerns since its launch, because funds have been disbursed with relatively little oversight, The Post’s Matt Zapotosky reported.

Last summer, federal prosecutors said a Florida man had used a $4 million PPP loan to purchase a brand new blue Lamborghini Huracán EVO, which cost more than $318,000. The man, who was charged with bank fraud, also used the money to pay for shopping sprees and high-end hotel stays, prosecutors said.

A D.C. pastor was charged with wire fraud after he allegedly misused a $1.5 million PPP loan to buy 39 used luxury cars and property in Baltimore.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department announced it had charged at least 120 people in connection with PPP fraud.

When Qadiri, an Irvine, Calif., resident, submitted his PPP loan applications for four businesses he claimed he operated from Newport Beach, he inflated the number of workers he employed and submitted altered bank account records with excessive balances, according to federal prosecutors.

Qadiri, court records state, also falsified federal tax returns and falsely certified that he’d use the PPP loans to cover business expenses related to the four companies he said he owned: All American Lending and All American Capitol Holdings, both mortgage businesses; and RadMediaLab and Ad Blot, both advertising companies.

During the application process, Qadiri also used someone else’s name, Social Security number and signature, the government said.

Three banks approved Qadiri’s applications and transferred roughly $5 million to accounts he controlled.

In the months that followed, Qadiri used the money on himself, the government said, buying several exotic cars: a 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia, a 2018 Lamborghini Aventador S and a Bentley.

That used Ferrari 458 Italia can be sold for as little as $168,000. The Lamborghini Aventador S can cost between $300,000 and $400,000 if bought used.

On Friday, as Qadiri was being charged and arrested, Homeland Security Investigations agents loaded the sleek black Lamborghini onto a truck. They also seized the Ferrari and the Bentley, along with $2 million from Qadiri’s bank account, federal prosecutors said.

Qadiri was released on $100,000 bond after an initial court appearance. A jury trial is scheduled for June, court records state.