Michigan husband and wife arrested same day for separate fraud schemes

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BThe two halves of a married couple from Michigan were arrested Tuesday on separate criminal charges related to finance.

The wife, Zeinab Makki, 59, has been taken into custody for organizing a $10.6 million pharmacy fraud scheme, authorities say.

The husband, Wahid Mohamed Makki, 59, is accused of using around $1 million in COVID-19 relief loans to buy a condominium in Beirut, authorities said.

Zeinab Makki is facing one count of healthcare fraud, according to a report.

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“[Zeinab] Makki allegedly engaged in a health care fraud scheme that stole millions of dollars over several years from a system designed to deliver health care to those in need,” said Special Agent Josh Hauxhurst. acting in charge of the Detroit Division of the FBI. “The FBI is committed to working with our partners to end these unlawful acts and hold those who commit them to account.”

If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the report notes.

Wahid Mohamed Makki is facing one count of money laundering and one count of wire fraud, and he is accused of using economic disaster loans to fund at least 10 front companies, according to the report.

“Economic disaster loans have played an important role in sustaining many Michigan businesses during the pandemic,” Hauxhurst said. “This defendant allegedly took money from this program and used it to purchase property overseas.”

He reportedly used the loans to acquire at least $1,082,600, which he then transferred via an international wire transfer to a Turkish bank.

The transfer was payment for a “sea view condo in Beirut, Lebanon”, according to court records.

“My office remains committed to using all available federal tools, including criminal and civil remedies, to combat and prevent fraud related to COVID-19,” said U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison.

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“We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to exploit the pandemic for personal gain, protect vulnerable populations, and uphold the integrity of taxpayer-funded programs,” she said.

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