Man Charged with Defrauding Local Bank with Worthless Checks
Las Vegas, Nev. - A Las Vegas man was indicted today on charges that he schemed to defraud US Bank by depositing worthless checks into a US Bank account in order to artificially increase the balance and withdraw funds, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
JIHAD ANTHONY ZOGHEIB, age 38, of Las Vegas, was indicted today by the Federal Grand Jury on one count of Bank Fraud and nine counts of Money Laundering. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine on the Bank Fraud charge, and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the Money Laundering charges. The Indictment alleges that on August 22 and August 23, 2003, ZOGHEIB knowingly and willfully executed and attempted to execute a scheme to defraud US bank by depositing four checks totaling $552,000 drawn on his closed "Jade 1" account at Nevada State Bank and depositing the checks into his "Boulder City Auto Village LLC" account at US Bank. It is alleged that ZOGHEIB knew the Jade 1 account was closed and that there were insufficient funds in the account to cover the checks.
The Indictment further alleges that on August 22 and August 23, 2003, ZOGHEIB made nine withdrawals totaling approximately $913,100 in the form of checks and/or counter withdrawals from the Boulder City Auto Village LLC account at US Bank knowing that there were insufficient funds in the account to cover the checks and other withdrawals.
It was further part of the scheme that ZOGHEIB allegedly lulled US Bank employees into believing the worthless checks were legitimate by offering lavish gifts to prevent discovery of the scheme. ZOGHEIB'S actions distracted US Bank employees from complying with normal banking procedures, caused them to become more focused on receiving the lavish gifts, and postponed the verification of the sufficiency of the funds deposited. ZOGHEIB also verbally assured US Bank employees that there were sufficient funds to cover at least one of the checks presented, which made bank employees comfortable approving subsequent transactions.
ZOGHEIB has been in custody since his arrest in February. He is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Leavitt on Friday, July 15, 2005, at 8:30 a.m. for an Arraignment and Plea.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian J. Quarles.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.