A Miami-Dade County man thought it was good idea to invest $10 million in a local personal protective equipment and bulk food re-sale business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But he fell victim of a multi-million dollar scam, federal prosecutors have revealed.
Isaac Halwani, 41, of Sunny Isles Beach, the man accused of duping the millionaire investor, is facing up to 20 years in prison for each of the four counts of wire fraud for which he has been charged. The 43-year-old man was arraigned Wednesday on a federal indictment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lauren F. Louis.
According to the indictment filed on Aug. 24, Halwani pretended from January to April 2021 to be a successful bulk food re-seller with a profitable business re-selling personal protective equipment, or PPE, such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.
The seemingly prosperous business owner, the indictment says, falsely promised the investor that each re-sale transaction generated returns of 20-25% and that he would receive a guaranteed monthly return on his investment as the reported death toll from COVID in the United States passed 400,000.
But what was the problem? Those deals never existed, the indictment says.
Federal prosecutors allege Halwani went as far as creating fraudulent invoices, opening bank accounts in the name of companies he had “complete control” of, and using his own money to partially repay the investor — creating the illusion of profitable deals. The names of the companies are B’H Frozen Wheels, BH Hands on Distributors, Deerfield Ice Cream and Frozen Wheels — all based in Miami-Dade.
“As a result of his false and fraudulent misrepresentations, Halwani obtained approximately $10 million from the victim and used the money to pay for his personal expenses,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida said Wednesday in a statement.
Authorities haven’t publicly revealed what Halwani did with the $10 million investment.