On March 13, 2018, it was announced that a former resident of Vernon, Connecticut had been sentenced to prison for fraud offenses linked to a scheme to secure more than $3 million in funding for his purported pita manufacturing business. 27-year-old Mohsen Youssef was sentenced to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Court documents and statements made in court show that beginning in approximately October of 2011, the defendant defrauded numerous banks, a corporate leasing and vendor finance company and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
The defendant carried out a scheme to secure funding for equipment purchases for his company, Amoun Pita and Distribution LLC, and other companies he controlled. According to Amoun Pita’s business plan, it was a bakery that manufactured pocket pita bread from a facility in South Windsor, Connector. Youssef provided false information when applying for loans, state grants, lines of credit and lease financing.
He claimed to be using the funds for the acquisition of new pita manufacturing equipment, as well as other machinery and inventory associated with his businesses. The false information included documents that inflated the assets and income of the defendant and his companies. He also created fraudulent invoices to show the purported purchase of equipment. To encourage the victims to believe the invoices, Youssef created marketing materials and websites for non-existent vendors.
The defendant’s scheme caused more than $3 million in losses. The investigation also concluded that Youssef defrauded a property owner, who had entered into an agreement to sell the land on which Amoun Pita was located. Youssef has been ordered to pay the victims a total of $3,746,603 in restitution. Further details have been made available here.