Local Man Indicted for Defrauding FedEx of Thousands in Shipping Fees
HOUSTON ‐ A 31-year-old Pakistani national has been charged with multiple counts of mail and bank fraud for defrauding FedEx for shipping fees he incurred as part of his cell phone and electronics export business, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
The indictment alleges that Babar Butt, who resided in multiple locations in Houston and Spring, operated an electronics export business and routinely shipped items to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Butt was taken into custody this morning and is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson at 2:00 p.m. today.
The indictment alleges that from February 2015 through August 2016, Butt devised a scheme whereby he defrauded FedEx by opening various shipping accounts. He would allegedly ship one or more packages of cell phones and electronics to Dubai and elsewhere until the charges were declined and he could no longer ship on that account. According to the indictment, he would then open new accounts to continue his scheme and would again not pay his shipping invoices, causing significant losses to FedEx. He also cashed several checks drawn on a closed bank account which caused significant losses to Bank of Texas, according to the indictment.
Butt is charged with 14 counts of mail fraud and three counts of bank fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison for a conviction of mail fraud. The bank fraud counts carry a maximum of 30 years imprisonment as well as a possible $1 million maximum fine. The indictment also seeks a money judgment equal to the total value of the property subject to forfeiture - estimated to be, but not limited to, approximately $287,679.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Winter is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.