DOJ indicts 3 more in Florence pandemic fraud case
Sisters of couple accused of conspiracy
FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Additional suspects face conspiracy charges from the United States Department of Justice connected to an ongoing pandemic fraud case out of Florence.
FBI agents arrested Mohammad Farraj and Nariman Masoud in March, accused of taking money meant for those who were struggling to their pay their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to federal authorities.
The DOJ recently filed a superseding indictment for Masoud’s three sisters, Marvet Masoud, Susan Masoud, and Wafah Masoud alleging conspiracy.
According to court documents, Mohammad Farra, Nariman Masoud, Marvet Masoud, Susan Masoud, and Wafah Masoud conspired with each other and others unknown, to defraud and obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses.
The indictment against the three sisters alleges only conspiracy. Mohammad Farraj and Nariman Masoud face several federal charges including wire fraud related to unemployment insurance benefits and aggravated identity theft.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Shoemake said the couple would apply for benefits across South Carolina, New York and Florida.
Court documents show Marvet Masoud and Wafah Masoud lived in Florida and Susan Masoud lived in New York at the time of the alleged fraud and conspiracy.
Shoemake said the three sisters will be arraigned in Florence on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.
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