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Press Release: South Florida Man Charged with Bulk Food and Personal Protective Equipment Scheme that Cost Victim $10 Million

This press release is shared on behalf of the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida.

(Wednesday, September 20, 2023) – Isaac Halwani, 41, of Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, is charged with carrying out a bulk food and personal protective equipment investment scheme that defrauded a single victim out of $10 million.

Halwani was arraigned on a federal indictment today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lauren F. Louis.

According to allegations in the multi-count wire fraud indictment, Halwani falsely and fraudulently represented that he was a successful bulk food re-seller and that he had a profitable business re-selling personal protective equipment (“PPE”), such as masks, gloves, and hand-sanitizer. Halwani falsely and fraudulently represented that each re-sale transaction generated returns of 20-25% and that investors would receive monthly returns of 5% returns. A victim, referenced in the indictment, made various investments with Halwani for what the victim believed were investments in the re-sale of PPE and Halwani’s food distribution business. To induce the victim to invest, Halwani made numerous materially false and fraudulent statements. Unbeknownst to the victim, no such PPE or food distribution deals exited. To create the illusion of false deals, amongst other things, Halwani created false and fraudulent invoices, opened bank accounts, and Halwani used his own money to partially repay the victim. As a result of his false and fraudulent misrepresentations, Halwani obtained approximately $10 million dollars from the victim and used the money to pay for his personal expenses.

If convicted, Halwai faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison as to each wire fraud count.  A federal district court judge would determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri, FBI, Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

FBI Miami investigated this case. The Sunny Isles Beach Police Department assisted with the arrest. Assistant U.S. Attorney Yisel Valdes is prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitchell Hyman is handling forfeiture.

An indictment is a charging instrument containing allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

You may find a copy of this press release (and any updates) on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.