Posted on: February 27, 2022, 06:14h.
Last updated on: February 27, 2022, 06:14h.
A North Carolina man who was permitted to get medical treatment last year before reporting to federal prison wound up in Las Vegas where he allegedly cashed out up to $92,000 at casinos and also visited Hawaii. He was not supposed to travel.
Hawaii beach on Maui, pictured above. A North Carolina man was given medical leave before reporting to prison, but instead visited Hawaii and Las Vegas. (Image: USA Today)
Shawn Allen Farmer, 53, of Greenville, recently was ordered to prison. US District Judge Terrence W. Boyle also revoked Farmer’s medical release during a hearing in North Carolina federal court.
Farmer Must Spend 15 Months in Prison
Last May, Farmer was sentenced to 15 months in prison. He allegedly improperly received COVID-19 relief money and took part in alleged bank fraud. He also allegedly used Social Security numbers that were stolen from other individuals.
Last year, Farmer was given the release. It was unclear what illness he claimed.
But in January, the COVID Fraud Benefits Task Force confirmed Farmer had travelled to Hawaii and he obtained a Hawaii driver’s license. Farmer also used someone else’s Social Security number for taxes, authorities said.
As of January, Farmer also owed more than $42,000 that is supposed to be paid back. Farmer had pled guilty to false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims, bank fraud, and aiding and abetting, Michael Easley Jr., US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said in a recent statement.
Prior Money Laundering
In an unrelated incident, last November a foreign national was on the loose after he allegedly laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars through Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati between May and August. Ismail Shalash, 36, cashed in $464,796 at the gaming property, and later redeemed $789,541 worth of chips, WLWT, an Ohio TV station, reported.
Under a related plot, Shalash allegedly swindled $1.77 million from five victims in four states, court documents quoted by the Cincinnati Enquirer revealed. He also allegedly tried to defraud $3.48 million from eight victims in five states.
The FBI claims he sold luxury cars to dealerships through an online scheme, but never came up with the cars. Instead, money was redirected into the casino, and funds were later cashed out in casino credits.
Beyond that, the FBI claims money was deposited by a player at the casino for future gambling. Shalash later fled the US after withdrawing some $500,000 in cashier’s checks from an account, the FBI claims.
Suspect Living in Morocco
He was last known to be living in Morocco. Feds issued a warrant for Shalash’s arrest in September. Shalash is wanted for wire fraud and laundering of monetary instruments. He was identified by the FBI as a dual citizen of Jordan and the Palestinian territory in Israel.
A woman described by the FBI as his new wife allegedly used some of the ill-gotten money to purchase luxury goods. She was identified as Abir Mulawwah of Houston.
Mulawwah allegedly opened a safe deposit box at PNC Bank in Houston. It held Shalash’s illicit cash, Feds claim. She arrived in Houston on Nov. 19 to apparently pick up the money.
On Nov. 23, FBI agents found some $300,000 in the safe deposit box. After that discovery, Mulawwah was apprehended at Houston’s George Bush International Airport. She was charged with conspiracy to defraud the government, making false statements, and laundering of money instruments, the Enquirer reported.