Suspects Allegedly Used Internet to Resell Merchandise Stolen from Major Retailers
OAKLAND, Calif. LAWFUEL – US Law, Law Jobs – A federal grand jury in Oakland yesterday indicted six Bay Area residents for their role in conspiring to purchase stolen merchandise from major retailers and selling those goods over the Internet and shipping them to other states. The six were charged yesterday along with Rosemont Wholesale Inc., a California corporation located in Hayward, Calif., with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to engage in interstate transportation of stolen goods. The indictment stems from a nearly two-year investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Oakland Police Department.
The following individuals were indicted in connection with the case:
§ Hassan Swaid, 37, of Fremont, the president and owner of Rosemont Wholesale, Inc.;
§ Sufian Al-Khalidi, 45, of San Leandro, an employee of Rosemont Wholesale.
§ Mossleh Amari, 46, of San Leandro, an employee at Kings Food Market;
§ Nabil Munasar Al Zoqari, 23, an employee of 1 Star Discount Store;
§ Basheer Ammari, 23, of San Leandro, the son of Mossleh Amari;
§ Mohammad Aldhufri, 24, an employee of 1 Star Discount Store.
Munasar Alzoqari, 51, the owner of Kings Food Market is wanted by authorities.
According to court filings, the defendants were allegedly involved in a criminal ring that purchased merchandise, such as baby formula and medical supplies, stolen from major retailers, including Safeway, Target, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, and sold the goods over the Internet and shipped them to other states. The owners of two Oakland convenience stores Kings Food Market and 1 Star Discount Store—allegedly bought the goods from these individuals at prices far below their actual value and sold the products at their convenience stores and sold the products over the Internet. Much of the merchandise was allegedly transferred to Rosemont Wholesale’s warehouse in Hayward, and Rosemont Wholesale allegedly advertised the retail merchandise over the Internet on the website www.wholesaleramp.com.
On February 8, 2007, federal agents executed search warrants at six locations in the East Bay including the two Oakland convenience stores and Rosemont Wholesales warehouse in Hayward. The searches uncovered cases of vitamins, cold medicine, other over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, baby formula, and hygiene products. More than 20 tractor-trailer loads of merchandise were uncovered and seized at the Hayward warehouse. Searches of the dumpsters outside the warehouse during the investigation turned up thousands of discarded security tags and bar code labels from major retailers.
All of the individuals were released on $200,000 bond. All of the defendants are scheduled for arraignment on the indictment on March 12, 2007.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to engage in interstate transportation of stolen goods is five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty facing the indicted corporateion, Rosemont Wholesale Inc. a California corporation located in Hayward, Calif., is $500,000 or the greater of twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss as a result of the conspiracy. 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, these defendants must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Keslie Stewart and George Bevan are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Katie Glynn and Margaret Glyer.
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected]