Home Cleveland Press Releases 2009 Virginia Resident Charged with Bank Fraud

Virginia Resident Charged with Bank Fraud

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 15, 2009
  • Northern District of Ohio (216) 622-3600

Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced the unsealing of an indictment returned against Osama M. El-Atari charging him with two counts of bank fraud. El-Atari, age 31, is last known to have resided in Ashburn, Virginia.

Count one of the indictment alleges that, from March 2008 through November 2008, El-Atari defrauded First Place Bank in connection with commercial loans totaling $7.5 million dollars. The indictment alleges that El-Atari pledged fraudulent collateral for these loans by falsely claiming that he had a life insurance policy with $10 million cash value. The indictment further charges that El-Atari provided First Place Bank with life insurance documents containing altered and falsified policy numbers, coverage dates, call center telephone number, face amounts, cash values, assigned amounts, and assignee names. The indictment further charges that El-Atari defaulted on these commercial loans totaling $7.5 million and First Place Bank sustained a substantial loss.

Count two of the indictment alleges that, during the period from October 2008 through February 2009, El-Atari defrauded Northern Trust Bank in connection with commercial loans he received totaling $16 million. Again, the indictment alleges that El-Atari provided fraudulent collateral in the form of a life insurance policy, purportedly with a cash value of approximately $15.8 million. The indictment charges that El-Atari again provided false and fraudulent life insurance documents and information as collateral for these commercial loans.

The United States Attorney also announced that El-Atari has been charged in the Eastern District of Virginia on similar bank fraud charges in connection with commercial loans totaling more than $30 million. It is believed that El-Atari fled the United States several months ago.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Sammon, following an investigation by the Elyria Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.