Middle District of Alabama
Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in Connection to Sales of Iraqi Currency
Montgomery, Ala. – On Monday, July 11, 2016, Husam Usama Tayeh, 36, of Oak Lawn, Illinois, pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud, announced United States Attorney George L. Beck, Jr and Joseph P. Borg, Director of the Alabama Securities Commission. Tayeh’s guilty plea resulted from his operation of a business that unlawfully sold Iraqi currency—dinars—over the internet to customers all over the country. A joint-federal and state investigation led to Tayeh’s guilty plea.
According to court documents, Tayeh was the owner of Dinar Corporation, Inc. (Dinar Corp.), a company registered in Nevada and headquartered in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Through Dinar Corp., Tayeh operated a website. On that website, Tayeh offered to sell customers Iraqi dinars. One of the ways that Tayeh’s customers could buy dinars was through installment contracts. When a customer entered into an installment contract, Tayeh promised to place in reserve the quantity of dinars to be purchased by the customer. Tayeh assured customers that he would ship them the reserved dinars upon the customers making their final contract payments. Tayeh defrauded customers in that he never actually placed dinars in reserve and never had access to enough dinars to fulfill all orders should the orders all come due.
Court documents also explain how Tayeh found his way to an Alabama federal court. Tayeh was unable to find a bank in or around Chicago that would take his ill gotten money. Therefore, Tayeh contracted with a resident of Dothan, Alabama to launder the Dinar Corp. proceeds through Dothan banks.
At some date in the coming months, Chief United States District Judge W. Keith Watkins will sentence Tayeh. At the sentencing hearing, Tayeh faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment as well as a fine.
“Tayeh used advanced technology to commit classic fraud—he duped people into spending their hard-earned money on his worthless wares,” announced United States Attorney Beck. “Tayeh’s caused harm all over the country. I am proud to say that we in Alabama put a stop to this far-reaching scheme.”
Mr. Borg of the Alabama Securities Commission added, “the Iraqi Dinar ‘investment opportunity’ is a scam that has existed for more than a decade and has regained some of its former popularity. Investors are lured by the ‘can’t miss’ method in which the interested investor profits from a severely undervalued currency that is ‘certain’ to appreciate in value in just a short time. We will continue to investigate and prosecute those like Tayeh who prey on main street investors.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Alabama Securities Commission. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan S. Ross and Kevin P. Davidson are prosecuting the case, along with Steven P. Feaga, Deputy Director of the Alabama Securities Commission for Enforcement and Prosecution, and Amanda W. Senn, General Counsel of the Alabama Securities Commission.