Pennsylvania Household Goods Moving Fraud Scheme Ends in Guilty Pleas
On November 10, 2014, Mohammad Hamdan, also known as Alex Hamdan, of Raleigh, North Carolina and Mohammad Sabbar, aka Ali Sabbar, of Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting for their role in a household goods moving scheme.
Previously, in October 2013, a federal grand jury in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, charged Hamdan and Sabbar with conspiracy to commit extortion for their role in a scheme to extort money from a private consumer related to a shipment of household goods from California to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sabbar admitted that between November and December 2012, he and Hamdan conspired to extort money from the victim by demanding money that exceeded the consumer’s contractual obligation. Further, Hamdan and Sabbar threatened to withhold delivery of the household goods unless the victim met their demands.
The investigation, which included an undercover operation, revealed that Hamdan and Sabbar conspired and demanded $9,000 from the consumer which was far in excess of the remaining $1,467 on the contract. After the alleged extorted proceeds were deposited into Hamdan's bank account, most of the household goods were released to the consumer, who waited in excess of three months to receive his possessions.
We conducted this investigation with assistance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.