CLEVELAND – Rebecca C. Lutzko, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland returned a twenty-two count indictment charging two Cleveland area brothers with multiple fraud and money laundering schemes.
Zubair Mehmet Abdur Razzaq Al Zubair, 41, recently of Bratenahl, Ohio, and his brother Muzzammil Muhammad Al Zubair, 30, recently of Pepper Pike, Ohio, face one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 14 counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, four counts of money laundering, and one count of theft of government funds. Zubair Al Zubair also faces one count of harboring a fugitive.
The indictment charges that from June 2020 through August 2023, the Al Zubair brothers engaged in multiple schemes, including an investment fraud scheme, a Small Business Administration COVID-19 relief Emergency Income Disaster Loan scheme, a cryptocurrency mining scheme, a commercial real estate lease scheme, and a residential real estate lease scheme. According to the facts alleged in the indictment, the Al Zubair brothers obtained funds and property from victims under false pretenses and spent the proceeds on luxury items, such as cars, travel, entertainment, firearms, and jewelry. They allegedly falsely claimed to have extraordinary wealth and government connections. Zubair Al Zubair also allegedly falsely claimed to be married to a princess and to be a member of a royal family in the United Arab Emirates. The defendants also allegedly made false claims about potential investments returns, about property they owned or controlled, and about their intentions, among other falsehoods alleged in the indictment. Through these false claims, the Al Zubair brothers allegedly obtained millions of dollars from their victims. In addition to the fraud and money laundering charges, Zubair Al Zubair is also charged with providing a place to stay and transportation to a fugitive wanted on federal criminal charges.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew W. Shepherd.