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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Credit Union Employee and her Online Boyfriend Face Charges of Fraudulently Obtaining Lines of Credit Worth over $2.6 Million

          LOS ANGELES – An Orange County woman who worked at a local credit union in Hawthorne and her online boyfriend have been named in a superseding indictment that alleges a conspiracy in which the woman secretly opened more than 30 fraudulent lines of credit for her boyfriend, who was able to draw down approximately $1.1 million before the scheme was discovered.

          The indictment returned yesterday afternoon by a federal grand jury charges Indira Mohabir, 41, of La Habra, and Phillip Cook, 50, who appears to have recently resided in Ohio and Georgia.

          Mohabir was initially charged in the case last year, and Cook was arrested in Ohio on July 28 after federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint in this case. Mohabir, who is free on bond, is currently scheduled to go on trial on October 31. Cook, who has been ordered held without bond, is being transported to Los Angeles by the United States Marshals Service.

          The 15-count superseding indictment charges the two defendants with conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud, eight counts of unauthorized issuance of credit union obligations and six counts of financial institution fraud.

          Mohabir, who worked as a business loan processor at Western Federal Credit Union, entered into an online relationship with Cook in November 2014 and agreed soon after to open lines of credit without the necessary oversight and approval from the credit union, according to the indictment. The scheme lasted about three months, from late 2014 to early 2015, but the majority of the credit lines allegedly were established – or were doubled – over just a few days in January 2015.

          In exchange for opening the lines of credit and concealing them from the credit union, Cook promised to take Mohabir on trips, and sent her a $50,000 check and flowers, according to court documents.

          An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

          If convicted of charges in the indictment, Mohabir and Cook each would face a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on the conspiracy count and up to 30 years for each of the substantive fraud charges.

          This case is the result of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the FBI and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General. The Hawthorne Police Department provided substantial assistance.

          The case against Cook and Mohabir is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kerry L. Quinn and Scott Paetty of the Major Frauds Section.

Contact: 
Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) 213-894-6947
Press Release Number: 
17-153
Updated August 17, 2017