News and Press Releases

Multi-State Fraud Cheated Victims out of $325,000

April 3, 2009

BEENA BEDI, 37, of Northridge, California, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to six months in prison, three years of supervised release and $324,700 in restitution for her role in a scheme that cheated victims across the country of more than $300,000. In 2006, even as the FBI was investigating a Tacoma woman’s complaint that she had been defrauded, BEDI’s co-conspirator, Alex Nawabi, was taking another $100,000 from some “investors” from New Zealand. BEDI refused to return the money, using it instead to purchase a liquor store. Today at her sentencing BEDI provided a $50,000 check for the New Zealand victims, and is promising monthly $2,000 payments until the debt is retired. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said, “obstruction of justice is a serious offense. She was the beneficiary of the fraud, but chose to lie to the FBI to protect Nawabi (her con-man boyfriend).”

According to documents filed in this case, Nawabi, assisted by BEDI, portrayed himself as the Chief Executive Officer of AMX Global Funding, Inc. (AMX), a “global financial powerhouse,” transacting billions of dollars of business. In reality, AMX was nothing more than a false website, a bank account and a post office box. According to the website, AMX supposedly could arrange financing for a great variety of purposes, including purchases of residential and commercial real estate, heavy industrial equipment, golf course construction, timberland and precious stones.

Although the money turned over by the victims was supposed to be used as down payments for loans, or for investment purposes, Nawabi and BEDI converted the money to their own use. They laundered it through transfers among multiple business and personal bank accounts. Nawabi further deceived his victims by representing to them that he owned emeralds worth millions of dollars, and that he would provide the emeralds to the victims as “collateral” for the loans. The emeralds, however, were near-worthless. Once the victims had given their money to Nawabi and BEDI, Nawabi attempted to prevent them from complaining or reporting the fraud scheme by lulling them with false stories about the continued progress of the supposed business deals, as well as false stories of how the deals were being delayed by supposed legal difficulties suddenly suffered by the AMX corporation.

In all, Nawabi and BEDI defrauded nine (9) victims out of $324,700. These victims resided in Scottsdale, AZ; Tacoma, WA; Salem, OR; Long beach, CA; Newark, CA; Universal City, CA; and St. Paul, MN.

Last December, Nawabi was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Darwin Roberts and David R. Jennings.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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