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Published On: Wed, Dec 19th, 2018

Westfield Man, Hanibal Tayeh Charged with 17 Counts of Fraud and Money Laundering

A Westfield man was charged in federal court in Springfield today in connection with a scheme to obtain bank loans and money for projects in Saudi Arabia.

Hanibal Tayeh, 58, was charged in a superseding indictment with two counts of bank fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, four counts of money laundering, and one count of making a false bankruptcy declaration. Tayeh was originally charged and arrested in July 2018 and released on personal recognizance.

photo 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

According to the charging documents, Tayeh is alleged to have used fake documents, misrepresentations, and a number of corporate entities to obtain a $9.1 million loan package, and later a $400,000 extension of credit, from a bank. A number of the fake documents and misrepresentations pertained to a business venture Tayeh was pursuing in Saudi Arabia. It is further alleged that Tayeh financially defrauded three individuals by providing them with fake documents and by making misrepresentations about construction projects he was pursuing in Saudi Arabia. Tayeh is accused of laundering the proceeds of his fraud schemes through payments made to third parties for his personal obligations. Finally, Tayeh was charged with making a false statement during a bankruptcy proceeding when he allegedly denied knowledge of a fake letter of credit that he created.

The charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine. The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of money laundering provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. The charge of false bankruptcy declaration provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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