Summer Camp Operator Who Defrauded Over 300 Families Sentenced to Prison
BOSTON – A Florida man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for stealing tuition and deposits from families who planned to send their children to sports camps in the Boston area in July and August 2019.
Mehdi Belhassan, 53, of Tampa, Fla., was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge William G. Young to 30 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Belhassan was also ordered to pay restitution of $575,427 and forfeiture of $443,346. In October 2023, Belhassan was convicted of two counts of wire fraud following a six-day jury trial.
Beginning in the fall of 2018, Belhassan falsely claimed that he would operate his annual MB Sports Camps at a Boston-area college. Later, Belhassan falsely announced that the camps would occur at a Boston-area university. The City of Boston told Belhassan that he could not have his camp anywhere in Boston because he lacked the appropriate permits; however, Belhassan continued to promote the camp and collect funds.
Belhassan also defrauded a financing company to obtain operating funds for his non-existent camp using a fraudulent contract with a college that contained the forged signature of a college administrator. Belhassan used the operating funds for his camp to fly to Las Vegas where he gambled and spent the money on entertainment and hotels.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kriss Basil and Alathea E. Porter of the Criminal Division prosecuted the case.