Hawthorne Man to Be Sentenced for Currency Fraud Scam

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Hawthorne man is expected to be sentenced today for running a scheme in which a used car salesman was persuaded to trade cash for what turned out to be construction paper cut to the size of actual bills with markings suggesting they were genuine $100 notes.

Fonka Arouna Moundih, 53, pleaded guilty in August to a federal conspiracy count for conning the Los Angeles salesman identified by the initials H.S. out of $100,000 two years ago, according to court records.

To perpetuate the so-called ``black money'' scheme, the victim was made to believe that Moundih was in possession of a lot of cash, but that the banknotes were painted to avoid detection by authorities and unusable. The victim was then asked for money for various fees and for the purchase of an alleged miracle chemical used to ``clean'' the bills -- which were in fact made of construction paper.

The French-speaking native of Cameroon in Central Africa was arrested in April 2019 crossing the border into Canada after skipping a court date.

Federal prosecutors are asking for two years behind bars plus restitution of $100,000 to the victim. The defense recommends an eight-month term.

A co-defendant, Raja Aamir Shahzad, was sentenced earlier this month in Los Angeles federal court to a probationary term including six months of home detention. He was also found liable for part of the restitution, of which $67,000 remains unpaid, according to court records.

Photo: Getty Images

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