You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Six Co-Conspirators Sentenced for Over $2.8 M Retail Financing Fraud

RICHMOND, Va. – Six individuals were sentenced recently to approximately 31 combined years in prison for taking part in a conspiracy to defraud several retail financing providers through various schemes involving the use of the names and other personal identifying information of over 1,000 identity theft victims. 

According to court documents, between April 2017 and January 2022, Wael Jibawi, 28, of Palos Heights, Illinois; Mohammad Jibawi, 27, of Tinley Park, Illinois; Mahmoud Aljibawi, 40, of Oak Forest, Illinois; Alaelddin Aljibawi, 37, of Orland Park, Illinois; Jamel Eljebawe, 48, of Tinley Park, Illinois; and Yanal Khrisat, 28, of Burbank, Illinois, conspired to defraud at least six retail financing providers of at least $2.8 million.

During that period, the defendants opened and maintained several retail furniture stores in and around the Chicago area, which they used to establish merchant relationships with the targeted financing providers. These relationships enabled defendants to submit financing applications in the names of customers. Instead, the defendants submitted applications in the names of identity theft victims then used the approved accounts to charge the financing providers for purchases that did not actually occur. Over 1,000 identity theft victims have been identified to-date.

Additionally, in February 2018, several of the defendants used social engineering to gain access to merchant accounts belonging to other businesses and change the bank accounts designated to receive payments owed to those businesses by one retail financing provider. The defendants then submitted the affected businesses’ customer accounts for funding, causing the financing provider to deposit money that the defendants were not actually owed into accounts that they had opened and controlled.

The defendants’ respective sentences for their role in the scheme are as follows:

Defendant

Charges

Sentence

Wael Jibawi

Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Bank Fraud

Accessing Protected Computer in Furtherance of Fraud

Wire Fraud

132 months

Mohammad Jibawi

Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Bank Fraud

Accessing Protected Computer in Furtherance of Fraud

Wire Fraud

87 months

Mahmoud Aljibawi

Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Bank Fraud

Accessing Protected Computer in Furtherance of Fraud

Wire Fraud

58 months

Alaelddin Aljibawi

Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Bank Fraud

Wire Fraud

48 months

Jamel Eljebawe

Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Bank Fraud

Wire Fraud

31 months

Yanal Khrisat

Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Bank Fraud

Accessing Protected Computer in Furtherance of Fraud

Wire Fraud

21 months

 

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Richmond Field Office; and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge David J. Novak.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin G. Cooke and Carla Jordan-Detamore prosecuted the case.

Anyone who believes that they have been a victim of identity theft, or wants information about preventing identity theft, may obtain helpful information and complaint forms on various government websites including the Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Website. Additional resources regarding identity theft include the Department of Justice’s Identity Theft Website, the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Prevention and Reporting Website, and the IRS’s Identity Theft Central

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No.  3:21-cr-141.

Contact: 
USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov
Updated December 21, 2022