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Auto dealers prison bound for bank fraud
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Two Modesto brothers who owned multiple car dealerships have earned lengthy prison sentences as a result of their conviction for conspiring to commit bank fraud, the United States Attorney’s Office announced.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Abdel Baset Jawad, aka Fred Jawad, 38, to four years and nine months in prison, and his brother Abdul Muniem Mohamad Jawad, aka Manny Jawad, 39, to four years and three months in prison. Both defendants were ordered to pay approximately $601,000 in restitution to victims of their fraud.

“Today’s sentencing marks the culmination of a long investigation and prosecution,” stated U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner. “Those who take advantage of the banking and lending systems will be held accountable. We will continue to work with the FBI and other law enforcement partners to bring schemes like this to justice.”

The defendants were found guilty after a three-day trial by a federal jury in January. According to the evidence presented at trial, the Jawad brothers owned and operated various used automobile dealerships in Stanislaus and Merced Counties, including Own-A-Car, The Auto Store, and Auction 2 U in Modesto. Employees of the dealerships would assist customers in finding a vehicle to purchase. Many of these customers, however, were in a poor financial situation and unable to qualify for a vehicle loan. In order to enable the customers to obtain financing, the Jawads, and others acting at their direction and on their behalf, conspired to assist the customers in preparing misleading and false financial information for submission to a financial institution in order to obtain financing. 

In some instances the defendants conspired to enter fictitious information on loan applications including the names of employers for whom the customers did not work, or, if the customers were employed, inflated earnings amounts. Some of the customers signed these loan applications, while others had no knowledge of how their signatures appeared on the applications.

Because of the defendants’ conduct, financial institutions approved loans to customers who otherwise should not have received financing. As customers were approved for loans, the dealerships received the money as payment for the purchased vehicles.

“The Jawad brothers put personal gain ahead of the financial well-being of their customers and the stability of the institutions funding the fraudulent loans,” said Special Agent in Charge Monica Miller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Sacramento Field Office. “Such greed negatively impacts the economies of the communities we serve, not just a select few, and we remain committed to bringing members of conspiracies like this to justice.”

Abdel Baset Jawad and Abdul Muniem Mohamad Jawad were ordered to surrender to serve their sentence on Nov. 18. Three other defendants in this case have been sentenced after pleading guilty. Armando Fathic Abdallah was sentenced March 4, to 18 months in prison. Hussein Ali was sentenced to 27 months in prison on March 18, and Husam Sarama was sentenced in Feb. 19, to three months in prison.


This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, California Department of Justice, and the Department of Motor Vehicles, Investigations Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Mark E. Cullers and Henry Z. Carbajal III, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Megan A. S. Richards prosecuted the case.