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Sentence Handed Down in Household Goods Moving Scheme

February 16, 2015

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A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced by a federal court after pleading guilty earlier to charges of conspiracy to commit extortion in a household good moving scheme.

On Feb. 9 Mohammad Sabbar, also known as Ali Sabbar, was sentenced to 60 months probation, according to the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Transportation, in a recent news release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,500 to the OIG for money used as undercover funds during the investigation.

In October 2013 a federal grand jury in Philadelphia charged Mohammad Sabbar and Mohammad Hamdan of North Carolina, also known as Alex Hamdan, with conspiracy to commit extortion. The charges were for trying to extort money from a customer related to the delivery of household goods from San Francisco, California, to Philadelphia.

Sabbar admitted that between November and December 2012, he and Hamdan demanded money that exceeded the consumer’s contractual obligation. Also, the two threatened to withhold delivery of the household goods unless the victim met their demands. 

The investigation, conducted by the OIG and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which included an undercover operation, revealed the two conspired and demanded $9,000 from the consumer which was in excess of the remaining $1,467 on the contract. After the extorted proceeds were deposited into Hamdan's bank account, most of the household goods were released to the consumer, who waited more than three months to receive their belongings. 

Last November Hamdan pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of to conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting for their role in a household goods moving scheme. He has yet to be sentenced.

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