News and Press Releases

Monroeville Man Pleads Guilty To Operating Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

November 29, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Monroeville, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating the federal money laundering laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Aref Hamdah, 43, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from July 2005 to March 2007, Hamdah operated the following unlicensed money transmitting businesses: Shuman's East Liberty News & Variety, Inc., d/b/a East Liberty News & Variety; and Shuman Market of Pittsburgh, Inc., a/k/a Shuman Market.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Troy Rivetti is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service ‑ Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Aref Hamdah.

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