Norfolk Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud Minutes Before Trial Was Set to Begin
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Just minutes before jury selection was set to begin, Nader Elnegery, 41, of Norfolk, pleaded guilty today to charges of mail and wire fraud based on a scheme to defraud Canon, U.S.A. (Canon) and other companies of professional cameras and lenses.
In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Elnegery admitted to falsely certifying his eligibility for membership in a program offered by Canon to professional photographers and filmmakers. Specifically, in 2013 and 2014, Elnegery applied for memberships in his own name and in the names of five aliases, falsely claiming to own several items of professional camera equipment that he had rented from a second company, ATS Rentals. Ownership of such equipment is the primary condition of membership in the Canon program. Elnegery then used the Canon memberships to obtain loans of high-end, professional cameras and lenses from Canon. Elnegery failed to return these items, as well as several items he had rented from ATS Rentals, resulting in significant losses to both companies. In March and April 2014, Elnegery sold the majority of these items in eBay auctions, collecting the proceeds from these sales through a PayPal account. Elnegery transferred the majority of the money he earned from these sales to his own checking account. The items not sold were recovered from Elnegery’s home.
Elnegery was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 14, 2015, and the trial was set to begin today. Elnegery faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 28, 2016. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Maria Kelokates, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Washington Division, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin C. Gratton and Brian J. Samuels are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:15c48.