In May 2019, Abbas conspired with Alaumary to launder millions of pounds stolen from a professional soccer club in the United Kingdom as well as a British company. In connection with that scheme, Abbas provided Alaumary with details for a bank account in Mexico that “could handle millions and not block,” according to court documents.
Abbas also fraudulently induced a New York-based law firm in October 2019 to transfer approximately $922,857 to an account that a co-conspirator controlled under someone else’s name.
Alaumary was charged separately and pleaded guilty in November 2020 to one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering. He is serving a 140-month federal prison sentence and was ordered to pay more than $30 million in restitution.
Abbas also admitted in his plea agreement to conspiring with others to defraud an individual in Qatar who sought a loan of $15 million to build a school.
At today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Wright ordered Abbas to pay $922,857 in restitution to the law firm victim and $809,983 in restitution to the businessperson in Qatar.
Abbas and another conspirator duped the victim businessperson into paying approximately $330,000 to fund an “investor’s account” to facilitate the loan. Abbas specifically directed the victim to send $100,000 to a bank account controlled by a co-conspirator, and $230,000 to the bank account of a luxury watch seller. Abbas used those funds for his personal benefit, including purchasing a $230,000 Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which he arranged to have brought to him from New York to Dubai. The watch made numerous appearances on Abbas’ wrist on his now-defunct Instagram account, often with the hashtag #RichardMille.
Approximately $50,000 of proceeds from the scheme were used to fraudulently acquire a St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis citizenship and a passport for Abbas through a sham marriage to a St. Kitts citizen.
In January and February 2020, Abbas and another conspirator corresponded with the victim businessperson, attempting to fraudulently induce a further payment of $575,000 in purported taxes to release the $15 million loan. In February 2020, the victim sent approximately $299,983 to Kenyan bank accounts specified by another conspirator. In March 2020, Abbas fraudulently induced the victim to send another $180,000 to U.S.-based bank accounts; those funds were subsequently laundered with assistance from several co-conspirators.
“By his own admission, during just an 18-month period defendant conspired to launder over $300 million,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “While much of this intended loss did not ultimately materialize, [Abbas’] willingness and ability to participate in large-scale money laundering highlights the seriousness of his criminal conduct.”
The FBI investigated this matter as part of Operation Top Dog. The FBI thanks the government of the United Arab Emirates and the Dubai Police Department for their substantial assistance in this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Khaldoun Shobaki of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section prosecuted this case. The Justice Department Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in this matter.