Federal Investigation of GBEN Pump-and-Dump Scheme Results in Conviction of Eight Men and Recovery of over $400,000 for Victim Restitution
Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that a 52-count federal indictment was unsealed today charging Fouad Saeed Abdulkadir, 42, of Parma, Ohio, with devising and enacting a scheme to defraud the State of Ohio and steal public funds.
The Defendant is charged with various counts of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft of public money.
According to the indictment, from on or about November 22, 2016, to on or about December 7, 2018, the Defendant is accused of orchestrating a scheme to defraud the state of Ohio by submitting fraudulent applications and receiving funding for employment and income assistance while gainfully employed.
The indictment states that the Defendant was employed at a religious center located in Parma, Ohio. As part of his employment, the Defendant was paid a yearly salary, provided health insurance and received performance and seniority-based bonuses and incentives.
According to the indictment, around October of 2016, the Defendant submitted a fraudulent application for participation in the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Ohio Works First (OWF) program by falsely listing his income as “0” in order to qualify for employment and income assistance. The OWF program is a federally funded initiative.
From November 22, 2016, to on or about December 7, 2018, the indictment alleges that the Defendant filed monthly ODJFS OWF program forms claiming that he worked in a volunteer capacity for the religious center. It is alleged that on every form submitted to the program, the Defendant listed fictitious volunteer work hours while receiving payment for these hours from the religious center. It is also alleged that on each of these forms, the Defendant used a forged or fraudulent signature of a person he claimed to be his volunteer supervisor.
As a result of these fraudulent submissions, the indictment alleges that the Defendant illicitly obtained more than $15,000 in federal funds through the OWF program.
In addition, the indictment alleges that from on or about July 2016, through on or about July 2019, the Defendant fraudulently applied for and received approximately $41,559.24 in Medicaid benefits and approximately $23,599 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
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.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI, CBP and Parma Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Duncan T. Brown.