Mollie Halpern: An Iraqi poet used the power of his words to cheat his own people out of more than $2 million.
Philip Reed: They said their lives were completely ruined by what he did.
Halpern: I’m Mollie Halpern of the FBI, and this is Gotcha, the Bureau’s closed case of the week. Ahmed Alabadi, a dual citizen of Iraq and the United States, persuaded about 3,000 Iraqis living in the U.S. and overseas to invest in him and his company, Fedek Group. Alabadi promised he would double their money in just eight to 10 months. Alabadi and his associates also claimed he was helping to re-build Iraq. Case Agent Philip Reed of the Detroit Division says…
Reed: They definitely used the economic condition of Iraq to tug at people’s heartstrings.
Halpern: Alabadi’s investment fraud scheme was mostly a cash-only operation—making it a challenge to track the money. Agents got a search warrant for Alabadi’s e-mail account and discovered exchanges that showed…
Reed: …that he was planning a scheme to defraud investors.
Halpern: Alabadi was sentenced to prison for nearly five years on wire fraud charges. He must also pay more than $2 million in restitution.