Crime & Courts
Tampa man sentenced for mail fraud, identity theft
TAMPA - A Tampa man was sentenced to four years, three months in federal prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. Nedal Faisal Ahmad, 35, must also pay $35,989, proceeds of the criminal conduct, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a news release. According to court documents, through his business and other means, Ahmad negotiated U.S. Treasury checks and reloadable debit cards containing fraudulently obtained tax refunds. For instance, Ahmad "swiped" reloadable debit cards at his business, Al-Wafaa Trading, knowing that the funds on the cards were fraudulently obtained tax refunds, court documents showed. He then kept a large portion of the cards' value as a fee for processing the illegal funds, the news release said. Ahmad processed more than $60,000 in fraudulently obtained tax refunds through his business, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.Ahmad was also involved in cashing fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks, the news release said. The Treasury checks were tax refunds that were fraudulently obtained by others, court documents showed. Beginning in October 2011, Ahmad began sending fraudulent Treasury checks via the U.S. mail and other delivery services to an individual in New York, according to court documents. Ahmad instructed the individual to pay him 60 percent of the funds from the check, while the associate could keep the remaining 40 percent, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. During an undercover investigation, Ahmad sent the associate nine fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks, totaling over $95,000 of stolen money, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Ahmad pleaded guilty March 8.