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Developer Eljwaidi Sentenced to Almost Two Years in Prision for Federal Fraud Conviction

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A man who fraudulently enticed persons to give him almost $2 million for the development of a local commercial real estate project that never materialized, was sentenced today to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Jean Marc Eljwaidi, aka Jean Marc Joveidi, 44, of Las Vegas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan. Eljwaidi pleaded guilty in November to one count of wire fraud.

From approximately November 2008 to June 2009, Eljwaidi obtained funds from investors for the development of a commercial real estate project at Interstate 215 and Russell Road in Las Vegas. In November 2008, Eljwaidi knew that the project could not be completed, but nevertheless enticed persons to continue to invest in the project. Ejwaidi provided the victim investors with promissory notes stating that he would use their investments to develop the project and that he would return their investments within a few months with an approximately 25 to 75 percent profit. In actuality, Eljwaidi knew that he would use the funds to pay his personal expenses and to maintain his affluent lifestyle, and to pay extension fees to keep the land from foreclosure. When the time came to pay the victim investors, Eljwaidi delayed repayment by soliciting more money from the investors or by repaying them with nominal amounts, or by avoiding them. As a result, the victim investors were never repaid or repaid nominal sums. The loss to the victim investors was approximately $1.8 million.

Eljwaidi was permitted to self-report to federal prison by June 3, 2013.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Yang.

Today's announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and state and local partners, it's the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.

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