philadelphia man sentenced for defrauding former property owners and their families
PHILADELPHIA - Amin A. Rashid, a/k/a “Lawrence D. Wilson,” 63, of Philadelphia, was sentenced today to 240 months in prisoin for mail fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a three-year fraud scheme. The scheme defrauded former property owners and their families of over $650,000. Rashid was convicted at trial on July 12, 2011. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe ordered restitution of $782,391, a $1700 special assessment, and five years of supervised release.
From at least December 2005 to August 2008, Rashid operated “The Center for Constitutional and Criminal Justice” under the guise of assisting former owners of properties sold at Sheriff’s sale. Rashid told these clients that he could help recover their properties or the proceeds from the Sheriff’s sale. Rashid took fees from these clients and photocopies of their drivers licenses but typically did nothing in return.
Rashid altered his clients’ driver’s licenses and submitted them to a title company along with forged power of attorney documents to steal Sheriff’s sale proceeds due to other former property owners. The forged power of attorney documents carried signatures of former property owners who actually died years before they purportedly signed the documents. In addition, Rashid submitted bogus corporate resolutions that purportedly authorized him to collect Sheriff's sales proceeds that were due to these corporations. Rashid used his family members to pose as officers of these corporations.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Philadelphia County District Attorney’s Office, and the Philadelphia Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vineet Gauri.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525