Former Connecticut Resident Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Lenders of More Than $3 Million
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MOHSEN YOUSSEF, 27, formerly of Vernon, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to fraud offenses relating to a scheme to secure more than $3 million in funding for his purported pita manufacturing business.
According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning in approximately October 2011, YOUSSEF defrauded various banks, a corporate leasing and vendor finance company, and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, in a scheme to secure funding for equipment purchases for his company, Amoun Pita and Distribution LLC (“Amoun Pita”), and other companies he controlled. According to its business plan, Amoun Pita was a bakery that manufactured pocket pita bread from a production facility in South Windsor, Connecticut.
As part of the scheme, YOUSSEF provided false information when applying for loans, lines of credit, lease financing and state grants, purportedly to finance the acquisition of new pita manufacturing equipment, other machinery and inventory related to his businesses. The false information included documentation that inflated the assets and income of YOUSSEF and his companies, as well as fraudulently created invoices purporting to document equipment purchases that, in fact, never occurred. In order to induce victims to rely on the invoices he provided, YOUSSEF created marketing materials and websites for non-existent vendors.
YOUSSEF caused more than $3 million in losses through this scheme.
YOUSSEF pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, and one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
YOUSEEF has agreed to pay the victim lenders restitution in the amount of $3,209,603.17.
Judge Arterton scheduled sentencing for January 18, 2018.
YOUSSEF, who has dual U.S and Egyptian citizenship, moved to Canada in 2014. On Oct 22, 2015, a grand jury returned a 14-count indictment charging YOUSSEF with various fraud offenses. He was arrested in Canada on March 1, 2017, and has been detained since his arrest.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Quebec Provincial Police RELEX Unit, Montreal Police Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David E. Novick and Avi M. Perry.