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Pennsylvania Man Sentenced in Household Goods Extortion Scheme

On February 9, 2015, Mohammad Sabbar, aka Ali Sabbar, of Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to 60 months probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,500 to the U.S. Department of Transportation, OIG for monies used as undercover funds during the investigation. Sabbar previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion for his role in a household goods moving scheme.   

Previously, in October 2013, a federal grand jury in Philadelphia charged Mohammad Sabbar and Mohammad Hamdan with conspiracy to commit extortion. The charges were for their roles in a scheme to extort money from a private consumer related to the delivery of household goods from San Francisco, California, to Philadelphia. 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, Sabbar and Hamdan threatened to withhold delivery of the household goods unless the victim met their demands. 

The investigation, which included an undercover operation, revealed that Sabbar and Hamdan conspired and demanded $9,000 from the consumer which was far in excess of the remaining $1,467 on the contract. After the 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 the belongings. 

We conducted this investigation with assistance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.