Man Who Falsely Obtained a Million-Dollar Miami Heat Premium Ticket Package Enters Guilty Plea
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced that Haider Zafar, 36, formerly of Miami-Dade County, has entered a guilty plea, in United States District Court in the Southern District of Ohio, to five counts of wire fraud in connection with an investment scam that yielded millions of dollars from investors and a Miami Heat premium ticket package.
At sentencing, Zafar faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each wire fraud count.
According to the indictment, Zafar would introduce and falsely portray himself as Haider Zafar Haswhani, a member of a wealthy and influential Pakistani family that operated several hotels, textile plants and oil businesses. He claimed he lived in a penthouse in The Essex house in New York, but also had residences at The Setai, the Mondrian, and 10 Museum Park, across the street from the American Airlines Arena.
Using this false persona, Zafar approached a Miami Heat sales executive and fraudulently obtained a Miami Heat premium three-season ticket package, which cost $1,055,000 with a promise to pay in the near future. Then he used the same scheme in approaching several other investors, promising them various investment opportunities and ultimately fraudulently obtaining in excess of $3,500,000.
At the time of this offense Zafar was living in Miami-Dade County. At the time of Zafar was indicted on these charges, he was incarcerated in Ohio awaiting sentencing on federal fraud charges there. Shortly thereafter, the defendant agreed to plead guilty and the case was transferred to the Southern District of Ohio in order for him to enter a guilty plea and his ultimate sentencing.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case was prosecuted in the Southern District of Florida by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis M. Pérez. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio is Carter M. Stewart, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dale E. Williams, Jr. is prosecuting the case before Edmund A. Sargus, Jr., United States District Judge, Southern District of Ohio.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.