Former Dublin Resident Charged In Alleged $10 Million Real Estate Scam


UPDATED: Wednesday June 26, 2013 12:42 PM

A former Dublin resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with an alleged $10 million real estate scam.

The indictment charges Haider Zafar, 35, with 118 counts of wire fraud, 13 counts of money laundering, three counts of willfully failing to file a federal income tax return with the IRS and one count of filing a false federal income tax return.

The indictment was announced June 25 by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Kathy A. Enstrom, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the IRS, Criminal Investigation, and Cincinnati Field Office.

The indictment alleges that Zafar, who now lives in south Florida, made representations that his mother’s brother was a high ranking official in the Pakistani government.

It also alleges that Zafar and other members of his family in Pakistan knew of the real estate that the government of Pakistan planned to acquire from private citizen-owners for purposed of building infrastructure and military facilities.

Zafar indicated that he could buy the real estate and turn a significant profit after selling it to the Pakistan government. Other people could invest in the real estate, and then would share the profits from making such a transaction.

Zafar allegedly instructed someone to wire transfer money to an Ohio bank account that was in his name so he could buy the real estate. He then allegedly told that person that he would receive the return of his money and a profit by wire transfer, and that the proceeds of the Pakistani real estate transaction totaled approximately $90 million. He told this individual that the money was being held in Pakistan, but the funds could not be transferred by wire to a bank account in the United States because Zafar was forbidden from transferring money to the U.S.

From Jan. 4, 2008 to Feb. 25, 2010, Zafar allegedly caused this person and two businesses that he owned to transfer a total of $10.1 million to him.

According to the indictment, Zafar did not use the funds to buy real estate in Pakistan, instead using them to buy luxury automobiles including a 2009 Mercedes-Benz roadster, three 2009 Mercedes-Benz sedans, a 2009 Aston-Martin DB9 convertible, a 2009 Maserati Gran Turismo, a 2009 Aston-Martin Vantage roadster, a 2010 Lamborghini LP560 Spyder and a 2009 Rolls Royce Phantom convertible. He also used the money to buy multiple watches and several other pieces of jewelry.

Zafar also allegedly filed a fraudulent 2007 federal income tax return with the IRS. In the tax return, Zafar reported a taxable income of zero, and he allegedly omitted reporting approximately $221,500 in taxable income.

He also willfully failed to file a federal income tax return with the IRS for each of the 2008 through 2010 income tax years. Zafar allegedly received a total of $4,976,000 in gross income in 2008, $4,519,000 in gross income in 2009 and a total of $620,000 in gross income in 2010.

Zafar was arrested on May 25 at Port Columbus Airport by IRS Special Agents and has been in custody since the arrest.

Committing wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000; money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Filing a false income tax return to the IRS is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 and willfully failing to file an income tax return with the IRS is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of $25,000.

The indictment charging Zafar also has a forfeiture allegation that calls for a money judgment in the amount of $10,115,000 and that he turn in multiple pieces of jewelry.

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