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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dearborn-Based Business OwnerSentenced To Prison For Immigration Fraud

The owner of a Dearborn-based investment company was sentenced to 33 months in prison today in federal court in Detroit for operating an immigration fraud ring from one of his restaurants. U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

Joining McQuade in the announcement were Giovanni Tiano, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Division of the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General, and Paul Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Detroit.

U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani imposed sentence on Hussein “Sam” Nazzal, 59, of Dearborn.  Nazzal is the former owner of the Shish Village restaurant and the G&S Development real estate company, both located in Dearborn. 

Nazzal pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to defraud the United States.  That conviction arose from Nazzal’s role in brokering three separate false marriages between U.S. citizens and Lebanese nationals to obtain immigration benefits by fraud.   As part of the same investigation, federal officials obtained criminal convictions of two of the individuals involved in the fraud activity.  Two other participants have been deported from the United States to Lebanon.

In announcing the sentence, McQuade stated, A Fraud schemes undermine the integrity of our immigration system, and make it harder for legitimate applicants to obtain immigration benefits.” 

Special Agent in Charge Tianno stated, A"DHS-OIG will continue to actively attack corrupt and greed-driven criminal schemes which would compromise our immigration system and threaten our border security."

Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan, Division of the FBI, said “The FBI is committed to aggressively pursuing individuals who perpetrate fraud schemes such as this one to commit crimes against the United States.  The FBI   praised the teamwork of the law enforcement agents, partners, and the Assistant United States Attorneys who brought this case to a successful conclusion.”

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sam Nazzal is also facing sentencing for his convictions on multiple counts of bank fraud, commercial bribery and obstruction of justice.  That sentencing will take place on November 18, 2013, before U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson.

Updated March 19, 2015