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Irvine man accused of leading retail fraud ring

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The 54-count indictment charges the defendants, variously, with multiple felonies, including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
(Getty Images)

An Irvine man is facing several felony charges as the suspected leader of a ring that allegedly bilked a national retailer of millions of dollars’ worth of electronics by using fraudulently obtained discounts and then resold the products and underreported the profits, federal prosecutors said.

Abdallah Osseily, 34, was the alleged ringleader of 12 defendants who, from July 2014 to March 2020, defrauded a company referred to in an indictment as “U.S. Retailer 1,” the Department of Justice said Thursday.

The 54-count indictment charges the defendants, variously, with multiple felonies, including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

If Orange County can stay at or below the 100 per 100,000 coronavirus case rate and meet five other state pandemic thresholds for 14 straight days, it can reopen schools for in-person learning after Labor Day.

Prosecutors say the crew traveled to hundreds of the retailer’s locations nationwide to procure the goods, which they had shipped back to Osseily’s home or — in one case of 500 pounds of electronic goods — to Los Angeles International Airport. Osseily then resold the merchandise to third parties and underreported his profits to the IRS, prosecutors said.

The defendants allegedly used unauthorized discounts and unique identification numbers, such as those reserved for current and former employees of the retailer and for military service members, prosecutors said. In other instances, they allegedly exploited the retailer’s return policies to to get store credits in amounts greater than the prices they actually paid for the merchandise.

Osseily and three other defendants were arrested by the FBI and had initial court appearances on Wednesday. The remaining eight defendants are expected to appear in court at a later date.

The case is set for trial on Oct. 13.

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