News and Press Releases

Las Vegas Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison for Credit Card Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2007

Las Vegas, Nev. – A man who improperly obtained drivers licenses and Social Security numbers and used them to establish multiple secondary identities in order to obtain credit cards and a home mortgage, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $256,206 in restitution, announced Steven W. Myhre, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Mohamad Jomaa, age 37, of Las Vegas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian Sandoval. He pleaded guilty in October 2006 to one count of Mail Fraud, one count of Filing a False Tax Return, and one count of Use of Social Security Number Assigned to Another.

From about October 1998 through August 18, 2004, Jomaa was involved in a scheme to defraud various credit card companies including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Sears. Jomaa obtained California drivers licenses and social security numbers in various names, including Ismael Jomaa, Omar Khalise, Armondo Jomaa, Alex Chavez, Joseph Waldo, Pablo Aguilar, Mohammad Gomaa, Ali Sarara and Antony Casares Jomaa. Many of the social security numbers belonged to children to prevent the fraud from being detected. Jomaa then obtained credit cards and other lines of credit in those names from a number of different credit card companies. Jomaa provided several addresses to the credit card companies in the application and billing process, including his and his father's residences in California, his business addresses, and various commercial mailbox establishments. The credit card companies then mailed the monthly statements to the defendant, who initially made at least minimum payments on the cards. The payments were made from the defendant's personal and business bank accounts, and from accounts he had set up in the alias names. After a period of time, the defendant would run the card balance up to its maximum limit, abandon the card and stop making payments on the card. The loss from the scheme was at least $458,315.

From January 1, 2001, to December 16, 2005, Mohamad Jomaa worked as general manager for Moda Latina, a clothing goods store at 2320 E. Bonanza, in Las Vegas. Jomaa filed individual tax returns for the years 2000 through 2003, indicating he had total earnings of approximately $102,000. In reality, Jomaa knew that he had received approximately $260,000 in additional income from Moda Latina through cash skimming, and that he had deliberately not reported it to the IRS. As a result, Jomaa owed an additional $38,741 in income tax to the IRS for the years 2000 through 2003.

In August 2003, Jomaa used his real name, but a false social security number to obtain a home loan from American Home Mortgage in the amount of $161,500 to purchase a residence at 4626 E. Utah Avenue in Las Vegas. Jomaa used the false social security number because he knew he would not qualify for the home using his real social security number.

Mr. Jomaa is released on bond and must self-report to federal prison by July 16, 2007.

The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation, the FBI, and the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kurt Schulke.

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