SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney’s Office announced that Behzad Mofrad, 38, of San Ramon, was arrested yesterday on an indictment charging eight counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The indictment, which was unsealed today, relates to a scheme to defraud Cisco Systems, Inc. of hundreds of thousands of dollars of Internet networking equipment in 2002.
Following his arrest, Mr. Mofrad made his initial appearance on the indictment before Magistrate Judge Wayne D. Brazil yesterday afternoon. He was released on a $250,000 bond. Mofrad’s next scheduled appearance is before Magistrate Judge Brazil on August 19, 2005, for identification of counsel.
According to the indictment, Mr. Mofrad, 38, is alleged to have been part of scheme in which a co-conspirator illegally accessed and used an online customer account of Cisco Systems, Inc. to order hundreds of thousands of dollars of Cisco hardware while falsely posing as one of Cisco’s existing customers. According to the indictment, Mofrad’s co-conspirator arranged to have the hardware delivered in separate shipments via Federal Express to “Comtel Logistics,” a non-existent company that had been created for the purpose of receiving the fraudulently obtained hardware. Mofrad leased a storefront in Oakland to act as a business location for Comtel Logistics and to receive the hardware. After receiving the hardware, Mofrad’s co-conspirator sold it to Western Data Transfer, falsely representing that he had acquired the equipment legally.
In February 2004, Mofrad’s co-conspirator, Sean Breen, was sentenced to 50 months imprisonment for charges related to the Comtel Logistics scheme to defraud, as well as charges related to Breen’s involvement in the violation of criminal copyright laws as a member of two large Internet-based software piracy rings.
The maximum statutory penalty for the conspiracy count in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 and for six of the mail fraud counts in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341 is 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate. Two of the mail fraud charges carry the higher maximum statutory penalty of 20 years imprisonment because those crimes are alleged to have occurred after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act became law. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act raised the maximum statutory penalties for several federal fraud crimes, including mail fraud. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Mofrad must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Kyle Waldinger is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by agents of the United States Secret Service and the United State Postal Inspection Service.
A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can .
Further procedural and docket information along with electronic court filings for criminal cases filed since February 2005 are available at (click on the link for “to retrieve documents from the court”).
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.