Every community has one of those. A San Diego man who federal authorities say defrauded fellow Somali immigrants of several million dollars, some of them losing their life savings, was arraigned Monday on a six-count grand jury indictment.
Mohamud Abdi Ahmed, 40, was charged in federal court with wire fraud and criminal forfeiture, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Valerie H. Chu. He was arrested Friday by FBI agents.
Ahmed owned and operated Shidaal Express, which offered financial services such as check cashing and money transfers to Somali immigrants, with several locations in San Diego, the indictment said. On Nov. 19, 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a preliminary injunction shutting down the firm. The company’s assets were frozen.
The commission’s complaint alleged that Ahmed also attracted stock market investors and raised at least $3 million from more than 40 investors in the Somali community in San Diego, Seattle and elsewhere, including at least $200,000 from a San Diego-area mosque. He would promise a return of 5 percent a month.