Va. man pleads guilty to $50M 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 more than $50 million.
Osama El-Atari, 31, 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 in federal court in Alexandria to three counts of bank fraud and one count of money laundering.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, El-Atari could face a term of 16 to 20 years.
-- Associated Press
Washington Post editors
| April 29, 2010; 2:03 PM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, Virginia | Tags: Alexandria, Fraud, Money laundering
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