Ashburn businessman pleads guilty to $53M in bank fraud
A flashy Virginia restaurant owner with a penchant for sports cars has pleaded guilty to a massive series of bank frauds in federal court totaling $53 million.
Thirty-one-year Osama El-Atari owned a small chain of steakhouses in the D.C. area and was known for driving Lamborghinis and Ferraris. But last year, as several banks discovered they had been cheated, El-Atari absconded.
He was thought to have left the country.
As it turns out, authorities in Brazil say El-Atari tried to fake his own death. But authorities tracked him down in Texas earlier this year, and on Thursday he pleaded guilty to three counts of bank fraud and one count of money laundering in federal court in Alexandria.
Under federal sentencing guidelines El-Atari could face a term of 16 to 20 years.
-- Associated Press
Washington Post Editors
April 29, 2010; 1:01 PM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse , Loudoun
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