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Mover Sentenced in Pennsylvania Household Goods Extortion Scheme

On September 9, 2015, Mohammad Hamdan, a.k.a. Alex Hamdan, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to time served of ten days in prison, six months home confinement, and 36 months of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $7,300 to the U.S. Department of Transportation, OIG.

Previously, in November 2014, Hamdan pleaded guilty to extortion and conspiracy for his role in a scheme to extort money from a private consumer who was moving from San Francisco to Philadelphia. Hamdan admitted that between November and December 2012, he conspired with his co-defendant, Mohammad Sabbar, to extort money from the victim by demanding money that exceeded the consumers' contractual obligation. Further, Hamdan and Sabbar threatened to withhold delivery of the household goods unless the victim met their demands. 

The investigation 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 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 their belongings.

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