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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 22, 2013

Canadian man pleads guilty to bank fraud

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that Ali Haddad, 31, of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, pleaded guilty to bank fraud before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000 or both.
           
            Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who is handling the prosecution, stated that Haddad, a citizen and resident of Canada, opened a business bank account at an M&T Bank branch in Buffalo in the name of Symcore, Inc.  Between January 15, 2009, and February 19, 2009, the defendant deposited false and fraudulent pre-authorized debits (“PADS”) into the account. The PADS deposited to the Symcore account purportedly represented money owed to Symcore by the payers listed on the PADS. M&T Bank relied upon the deposited PADS to calculate the daily cash balance of funds in the Symcore business checking account.

            On February 19, 2009, the defendant withdrew money from the Symcore account by electronically transmitting funds from the account by means of wire communication to bank accounts in Canada. Haddad caused two separate wire transactions to transmit funds from the Symcore account in the following amounts: $10,000, and $18,000 totaling $28,000.  This money represented funds from the deposit of the false and fraudulent PADS.

Between December 24, 2008, and January 26, 2009, the defendant committed similar fraudulent acts against Bank of America. However, Bank of America discovered the fraud before the defendant was able to unlawfully transmit funds from the Bank of America account.

            The total loss to M&T Bank and Bank of America was $28,000.

            The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Tracy Gast.

           
Sentencing is scheduled for July 1, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.