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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered a Jordanian national to spend three and a half years in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud and money laundering scheme.
U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball also ordered Alaa "Alex" Ramadan pay more than $50,700 in back taxes.
Ramadan, 29, was sentenced last week after pleading guilty in October to one count each of mortgage fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud; two counts of use of a false social security number; three counts each of conspiracy to commit money laundering, bank fraud and receiving money by fraud and four counts of money laundering.
Ramadan and three others were accused of defrauding Utah banks of hundreds of thousands of dollars through bad mortgages and car loans. The others involved have also pleaded guilty.
In a separate indictment Ramadan and his uncle, Sharif Omar, were accused of defrauding a credit company. Ramadan cashed a pair of balance transfer checks from Omar's credit card account. Omar, 37, then told the credit card company the checks were stolen and that he did not know Ramadan.
FBI investigators said some of the money obtained through Ramadan's schemes ended up in Jordan with Omar's relatives, which includes suspected al-Qaida operative Shawqi Omar.
But no evidence was found that money sent overseas had funded terrorism, investigators said.
Information from: The Deseret Morning News, www.desnews.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)