Former Connecticut Resident Sentenced to More Than 5 Years in Prison for $3 Million Fraud Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that MOHSEN YOUSSEF, 27, formerly of Vernon, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 63 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for 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.
The investigation revealed that YOUSEFF also defrauded a property owner who entered into an agreement to sell the land on which Amoun Pita was located.
Judge Arterton ordered YOUSSEF to pay the victim lenders and the defrauded property owner a total of $3,746,603 in restitution.
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. On October 26, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of mail fraud.
YOUSSEF has been detained since his arrest.
This matter was 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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David E. Novick and Avi M. Perry.