Criminal Justice News

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Three Indicted on Fraud Charges

ROANOKE, VA—A Federal grand jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke has indicted three men on a variety of conspiracy and fraud charges related to their alleged scheme to profit from fraudulent United States Treasury checks and checks for Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs).

In an indictment returned underseal on May 10, 2012 and unsealed this week following the arrests of the defendants, the grand jury has charged Osama Mahmud Mustafa, a.k.a. “Sam Mustafa,” age 49, of Tampa, Florida; Khaldoun Khalil Khawaja, a.k.a. “Tony Khawaja,” age 48, of Tampa, Florida; and Muawia Khalil Adbeljalil, of Roanoke, Virginia.

Each defendant was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States for the purpose of impairing the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service, to receive fraudulent Treasury checks, to commit wire fraud and to structure currency transactions, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In addition, Abdeljalil was charged with nine counts of bank fraud, five counts of making a false statements for the purpose of influencing a financial institution, and 19 counts of structuring financial transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements.

The defendants are charged with purchasing fraudulent income tax return checks and checks issued for Refund Anticipation Loans and then presenting those fraudulent checks for payment at financial institutions in the Western District of Virginia, the Middle District of Florida, and elsewhere.

In all, the defendants are accused of fraudulently depositing more than $17.5 million as a result of the scheme.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the United States Marshals Service Asset Forfeiture Program, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Mott of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia will prosecute the case for the United States.

A grand jury indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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