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DOJ Disrupts Multimillion Dollar Fraud And Money Laundering Scheme

December 13, 2022

JOEL ZUBAID, DAVID GORAN, JULIAN REBIGA, a/k/a “Iulian Rebiga,” and MARTIN MIZRAHI, a/k/a “Marty Mizrahi” (collectively, the “Defendants”), were arrested for participating in a scheme to defraud businesses, banks, and individuals of more than $9.2 million through business email compromise and credit card fraud schemes. REBIGA was presented yesterday in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, ZUBAID and GORAN will be presented today in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and MIZRAHI will be presented today in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Joel Zubaid, David Goran, Julian Rebiga, and Martin Mizrahi worked together on multiple schemes that included fleecing legitimate businesses by using compromised email accounts. In tricking them into sending millions of dollars to the defendants’ own bank accounts and using stolen identities and credit card information, they were able to fraudulently charge millions of dollars through business that they controlled. Today, thanks to the efforts of this Office and our law enforcement partners, they now face serious federal charges and justice.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said: “As we allege today, the defendants participated in several schemes designed to defraud multiple businesses of millions of dollars while also deliberately concealing the stolen proceeds of the frauds in a series of transactions. The FBI is determined to discover and disrupt frauds of this – and any – nature and will ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.”

USSS Special Agent in Charge Patrick Freaney said: “Cyber fraudsters continue to present a real and credible threat through their attempts at sophisticated business email compromise schemes aimed to defraud victims. As demonstrated in this case, collaboration and partnership across law enforcement results in successfully identifying those fraudsters and bringing them before our justice system. The Secret Service is proud to partner with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in having the defendants named in this indictment answer the charges brought against them in the Southern District of New York.”

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today:

From at least in or about April 2021 through at least in or about June 2021, the Defendants participated in at least three schemes to defraud businesses, banks, credit card companies, and other entities and to launder the fraud proceeds received. The Defendants participated in at least two business email compromise schemes in which co-conspirators sent email messages to victims that fraudulently asked those victims to send money to bank accounts under the Defendants’ control. As a result, the victims of the business email compromise schemes sent wire transfers worth more than $5.4 million to the bank accounts identified by the scheme participants, the majority of which went to the Defendants’ bank accounts. The Defendants, knowing that the money represented fraud proceeds, then transferred those fraud proceeds to other accounts, or converted it into cryptocurrency, in transactions designed to conceal and disguise their source, ownership, and control. When banks froze or sought to recover some of the fraud proceeds, the Defendants made multiple attempts to retain or recover control over the funds by lying to the banks about the purpose of the transfers.

In addition, during the same time period, the Defendants participated in a scheme to fraudulently submit more than $3.8 million in charges using stolen credit card information, without the authorization or consent of the card holders. The charges were conducted through point-of-sale credit card machines associated with companies controlled by MIZRAHI and REBIGA.

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JOEL ZUBAID, 55, of Riverside, California, DAVID GORAN, 56, of Riverside, California, JULIAN REBIGA, a/k/a “Iulian Rebiga,” 55, of Long Beach, California, and MARTIN MIZRAHI, a/k/a “Marty Mizrahi,” 51, of Las Vegas, Nevada, are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison consecutive to any other prison terms imposed.

The minimum and maximum potential sentences in these cases are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the FBI and the USSS for their outstanding work on the investigation. The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Klein and Emily Deininger are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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