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Case Number: 4:20-cr-00558
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Harris County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Houston, TX: Conspiracy to commit mail fraud criminal defense lawyers represented Defendant, Waseem Maknojiya, age 37, who between April and October 2019, Waseem Nazir Ahmed Maknojiya was involved in a telemarketing scheme via Indian call centers to extort money from victims in the United States. Maknojiya acted as a runner in these schemes, using aliases and fake identification documents to pick up more than 70 parcels containing cash the scheme’s victims had mailed.
One common script used in the scheme involved coercing victims into believing federal agents were investigating them. The “agent” on the phone would convince the victim the only way to clear his or her name from investigation was to send cash in a parcel shipped through FedEx to a name and address they provided. Runners in the United States like Maknojiya would then pick up the parcels.
As part of his plea agreement, Maknojiya will pay restitution to the scheme’s identified victims.
U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes accepted the plea and set sentencing for Dec. 13. At that time, Maknojiya faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The FBI, Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG) and Department of Homeland Security - OIG conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Houston Police Department and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Bauman and Eun Kate Suh are prosecuting the case.
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MAIL FRAUD
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MONEY LAUNDERING LAUNDERING
Outcome: Defendant pleaded guilty.
09/13/2021 Minute Entry for REARRAIGNMENT held before Judge Lynn N Hughes on 9/13/2021 for Waseem Nazir Ahmed Maknojiya (1): Guilty on Count 1. Plea agreement executed. Order for PSI signed setting sentencing for 12/13/2021. Appearances: Stephanie Bauman, Amr Ahmed. (Court Reporter: N. Forrest) Deft remanded to custody. (ghassan, 4) (Entered: 09/13/2021)
09/13/2021 38 SENTENCING DATA SHEET by USA as to Waseem Nazir Ahmed Maknojiya, filed. (ghassan, 4) (Entered: 09/13/2021)
09/13/2021 39 Sealed Event, filed. (Entered: 09/13/2021)
09/13/2021 40 ORDER for Presentence Investigation & Sentencing Dates as to Waseem Nazir Ahmed Maknojiya. PSI Completion due by 11/8/2021. Objection to PSI due by 11/22/2021. Final PSI due by 12/6/2021. Sentencing set for 12/13/2021 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N Hughes. (Signed by Judge Lynn N Hughes) Parties notified. (ghassan, 4) (Entered: 09/13/2021)