A Long Island man who previously served as a senior manager at a Manhattan global Internet company admitted to running a shell company and defrauding his employer as part of a multi-million-dollar scheme.
Floral Park resident Hicham Kabbaj, 48, pleaded guilty to wire fraud for defrauding his former employer from August 2015 through May last year, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced.
When he is sentenced, Kabbaj will face up to 20 years in prison. As part of his guilty plea, he agreed to forfeit homes in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and Hewitt, New Jersey. He will also pay $6,051,453 in restitution.
Kabbaj admitted to defrauding his employer into paying a vendor named Interactive Systems for IT products and services. In total, his employer sent 52 invoices for payment to Interactive Systems.
According to Berman, in reality, Interactive Systems was a shell company controlled by Kabbaj, and the money sent from his employer was transferred into Kabbaj’s own bank accounts. In total, his former employer paid Interactive Systems more than $6 million during the scheme.
“As he admitted today, Hicham Kabbaj defrauded the company for which he worked by arranging for payment of fraudulent invoices to a shell company he created,” Berman said. “Kabbaj now awaits sentencing for his $6 million deception.”
IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Larsen added, “today, Mr. Kabbaj pled guilty to a serious felony because he chose to misuse his position of trust as a corporate executive to steal company funds for his own personal gain.”
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