Santa Barbara dentist who stole COVID relief funds facing prison time

August 21, 2023

Ranjan Rajbanshi


A Santa Barbara Dentist is facing up to 10 years in prison for bilking the government out of $500,000 in COVID relief funds — which he used on personal expenditures such as investments, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ranjan Rajbanshi, 46, pleaded guilty Monday to stealing $500,000 of the $850,000 in COVID-19 relief money he received for his practices in Santa Barbara and Bakersfield. Rajbanshi represented to the government that he would only use the relief money for specified business purposes such as facility costs, payroll, and protective equipment for him and his staff.

He has agreed to pay $500,000 back to the government before his sentencing. In addition, Rajbanshi faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 4.

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Giving a dentist $850k? So sad… I wonder how he got caught and why we don’t see more prosecutions such as this one.

He should have to work as a prison dentist during his sentence in exchange for less than the maximum term.

How much will we be paying for his housing, food, medical bills & etc? yuckers!

Free money!! Woohoo!! No strings attached. Stupid government.

Indeed, the federal government did a horrendous on the PPP program and other Covid relief funds released in 2020. Steve Mnuchin should have faced an investigation over all the fraud. Not surprisingly, the president at the time lost his job over the complete mishandling of the pandemic.

Yeah the feds should have taken lessons from California’s leaders, they did such an outstanding job giving out pandemic funds?