Indictment: Kansas-Based Scam Cost Turkish Investor Millions
KANSAS CITY, KS—An Olathe man was indicted Thursday on federal charges of devising a fraud scheme that cost a Turkish investor millions of dollars, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Nagy Shehata, 55, Olathe, Kan., and Laura Lee Sorsby, 62, Texarkana, Texas, are charged in a superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and four counts of wire fraud. In addition, Shehata is charged with two counts of money laundering.
The indictment alleges the crimes occurred while Shehata was the president and registered agent for Premier Investment Group, Inc., and Sorsby was president of Can Am International, LLC, headquartered in Dallas. They offered an investor in Turkey investments in building a shopping mall in Turkey and a hospital in Syria. The investor transferred six million Euros (more than $8 million) for the hospital project. The defendants diverted the money to their own use. Shehata bought an $855,000 house and an $111,000 auto. Sorsby bought a $77,000 car and a $163,000 house. They promised the investor to return his money but they never gave the money back.
If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the conspiracy count and each of the wire fraud counts, and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each of the money laundering counts. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley is prosecuting.
Other Grand Jury Indictments
Samantha C. Elmer, 33, Lawrence, Kan., is charged with one count of international parental kidnapping, one count of making a false statement on a passport, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Elmer initially was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed Dec. 9 that alleged she took her two daughters to Europe to prevent her former husband from lawfully taking custody of the children.
If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the parental kidnapping charge, a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of making a false statement on a passport, and a mandatory two years (consecutive to other counts) on the identity theft charge. The following agencies worked on the investigation: the Lawrence Police Department, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, the Eudora Police Department, the Overland Park Police Department and the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley is prosecuting.
Omar Martinez, 31, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Dec. 8, 2015, in Ford County, Kan.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.