SANTA ANA, California – A Burbank man was arraigned today on a federal grand jury indictment alleging he embezzled approximately $2.2 million from a sizable estate left to an elderly man by the man’s late brother.
Jamal Nathan “Jimmy” Dawood, 52, is charged with six counts of wire fraud, nine counts of money laundering, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
At his arraignment in United States District Court in Santa Ana, Dawood pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. His bond was set at $50,000 and a June 6 trial date was scheduled.
According to the indictment returned on April 5, during the second half of 2019, Dawood offered to assist the victim with the management of real estate properties and retirement savings that the victim had inherited from the victim’s deceased brother. Specifically, Dawood allegedly helped the victim open a trust account at a bank for the purpose of managing the retirement savings.
Without the victim’s knowledge or authorization, Dawood then initiated wire and online banking transfers from the victim’s trust account to Dawood-controlled accounts, the indictment alleges. Without the victim’s knowledge or permission, Dawood allegedly also wired money from the victim’s trust account to people with whom Dawood had personal and business relationships.
Dawood allegedly convinced the victim to transfer ownership of his home and his late brother’s real estate holdings to various companies. Dawood falsely represented that the victim would retain an ownership interest in his residence and the inherited real estate through these companies. In fact, Dawood and other individuals close to him controlled these companies, according to the indictment.
In total, Dawood allegedly fraudulently obtained at least $2,202,688 in the victim’s money and property. The illicitly obtained funds allegedly were used to purchase real estate in La Crescenta and Fontana.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, Dawood would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud count, up to 10 years in federal prison for each money laundering count, and a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in federal prison for the aggravated identity theft count.
The FBI is investigating this matter.
Assistant United States Attorneys Kristin N. Spencer and Melissa S. Rabbani of the Santa Ana Branch Office are prosecuting this case.
If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is available at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This Department of Justice hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the needs of the victim and identifying relevant next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to assist them in reporting, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is staffed seven days a week from 3 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pacific Time. English, Spanish, and other languages are available.
Information about the Department of Justice’s Elder Fraud Initiative is available at www.justice.gov/elderjustice.
Public Information Officer