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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Kennewick Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding

Defendant Falsely Accused an FBI Agent and Another Individual He Suspected Was an FBI Informant of Soliciting Approximately a $20,000 Bribe to Make The Case Go Away

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Mohammed Naji Al-Jibory, age 54, of Kennewick, Washington pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and a three-year term of court supervision. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Al-Jibory is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. in Richland, Washington.

According to court documents, in February 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) opened an official investigation into allegations that several individuals were involved in a scheme to defraud insurance companies and obtain money and property by staging automobile accidents, and filing false and fraudulent claims with insurance companies, in violation of federal criminal laws. The FBI investigation expanded to an investigation by a federal grand jury empaneled in the Eastern District of Washington. In May 2020, the FBI executed warrants to search several residences in Washington and California for evidence of federal crimes. In September 2020, when interviewed by the FBI, Al-Jibory falsely accused an FBI agent, and another individual he suspected of being an FBI informant, of soliciting approximately a $20,000 bribe from a third person to make the case go away. In doing so, Al-Jibory engaged in misleading conduct toward the FBI agents with the intention of hindering, delaying, and preventing communication to these officers and a judge of the United States, of information relating to the commission and possible commission of federal offenses. He also attempted to corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede, and attempt to obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding, that is, a federal grand jury proceeding and a criminal proceeding before a judge and court of the United States.

Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, noted that efforts to hinder federal criminal proceedings will not be tolerated: “To ensure a safe and strong community in Eastern Washington, we will continue to vigorously prosecute those who attempt to obstruct official proceedings before a judge and court of the United States. I greatly appreciate the hard work and collaboration of talented agents and agencies that are contributing to our collective efforts to protect our communities from fraud and pursue justice.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. This case is being prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III and Dominique Juliet Park, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.

Press Release Number: 
4:21-CR-6042-MKD-23
Updated March 29, 2022