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California man who falsely claimed ties to Morrocan Royal Family pleads guilty to $10 million dollar advance fee fraud scheme

ATLANTA – Hassan Ra El, a/k/a Rasheem Harrson Crockett has pleaded guilty to mail fraud related to a scheme in which he falsely claimed to be a member of the Moroccan Royal Family to defraud business owners around the country to pay an advance fee before obtaining millions in business loans.

“This defendant will be held responsible for his elaborate advance fee loan scheme that took advantage of individuals and businesses that desired to raise capital,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Consumers and business owners are encouraged to conduct due diligence beyond information on websites when they enter business relationships.”

“Those seeking to maximize profits while misleading business owners and investors should expect to pay a heavy price,” said David M. McGinnis, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Charlotte Division.  “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has investigated these kind of deceptive practices for years to protect consumers.  Postal Inspectors work tirelessly to identify and hold accountable any person who uses the U.S. mail to defraud American citizens.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: Hassan Ra El operated a scheme to defraud business owners across the country who were seeking loans. El claimed that he was a wealthy investor and a member of the Moroccan Royal Family. El fraudulently claimed that he had access to Moroccan Royal Family funds that would be used to fund business loans. El created fraudulent documentation showing that insurance companies were offering default insurance policies on the loans. El convinced prospective loan applicants that they had to pay default insurance fees, typically 10% of the loan amount, before the loans would fund. When the loans failed to fund, El used fees from later loan applicants to partially refund fees from previous loan applicants.

In furtherance of the scheme, El created fraudulent bank statements purportedly showing that he, or companies that he controlled, had millions in bank accounts. El also created fraudulent email accounts and correspondence purportedly from insurance executives stating that loans had been approved. El used fees from loan applicants to fund his lifestyle, pay his living expenses, and to rent high-end automobiles – including a Ferrari, Range Rover and Lamborghini. El fraudulently induced victims to pay over $10 million dollars in advance fees. Neither El, nor his companies, funded any of the promised loans and loan applicants lost over $5 million dollars in the fraud scheme.

Hassan Ra El, a/k/a Rasheem Harrson Crockett, 45, of Chino Hills, California was previously charged with forgery, theft by conversion, and false statements in Douglas County, Georgia, for defrauding loan clients. After his convictions in Douglas County, El formerly changed his name from Rasheem Harrson Crockett to Hassan Ra El and continued to defraud prospective business owners seeking capital.  

On July 2, 2019, El was indicted on thirteen counts of mail fraud, and five counts of wire fraud.  Sentencing is scheduled for April 22, 2020, at 2:30 p.m., before U.S. District Judge William M. Ray II.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service in investigating this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Brown, Deputy Chief of the Complex Frauds Section, and Erin Sanders are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at [email protected] or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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