Las Vegas Man Pleads Guilty To Nearly $2 Million Business Fraud Scheme
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty today to defrauding $1,855,475 from victims of a business fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson for the District of Nevada.
Jihad Anthony Zogheib, 52, pleaded guilty without the benefit of a plea agreement to eight counts of wire fraud in connection to a fraud scheme. United States District Judge Andrew P. Gordon accepted the guilty pleas and scheduled a sentencing hearing on January 15, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks.
Zogheib admitted that, from about 2010, to about 2013, he devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain money from people by making false representations to them that he would use their money for business purposes. As part of the scheme, he influenced victims’ decisions by using forged business documents and fictitious emails from banks.
Specifically, in February 2011, he made false representations to a victim about forming a mobile crane company and a mobile crane leasing company. He claimed he had millions of dollars in an overseas account, but it was placed on a hold. He provided the victim with a fictitious bank record showing millions of dollars on deposit. Zogheib caused the victim to give him $548,000 to fund the companies. From November 2010 to about August 2013, Zogheib defrauded two victims by falsely claiming he was in the business of flipping real estate. He made false representations to the victims in order to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars for the nonexistent real estate investments. These two victims sent Zogheib a combined total $1,307,475. Zogheib immediately used the victims’ investment monies to fund his gambling habit and high-end lifestyle.
At the time of sentencing, the maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, Zogheib faces a criminal forfeiture money judgment of $815,475.
The case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Burns and Steven Myhre are prosecuting the case.