Office of the United States Attorney, John S. Leonardo
District of Arizona
October 30, 2013
PHOENIX - On Oct. 28, 2013, Gjergj Kol Mihilli, 61, of Gilbert, Ariz., was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay $302,420.64 by U. S. District Judge G. Murray Snow. The defendant previously pled guilty to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft for concocting the following scheme:
Mihilli owned and operated the Mama Mia Panaderia store in Chandler, Ariz. Between May 2010 and June 2011, the Mihilli engaged in a check-kiting type scheme by creating thousands of fraudulent money orders for deposit into the Mama Mia Panaderia business account. The money orders were fraudulent and worthless because they were created without the receipt of actual cash from third parties and were made payable to fictitious payees. For many of the fraudulent money orders, Mihilli used the names of Hollywood celebrities, politicians, and professional sports figures. He routinely caused the fraudulent money orders to be deposited into his account for the purpose of artificially inflating the balance. During the life of the scheme, Mihilli created and deposited over 10,000 fraudulent money orders with an aggregate value of over $10,000,000.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and the SABR Task Force. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Raymond K. Woo, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-12-1794-PHX-GMS
RELEASE NUMBER: 2013-083_Mihilli
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az