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Horne Announces Indictment of Al-Mahdi Islamic Organization Member

PHOENIX (Wednesday, May 11, 2011) -- Attorney General Tom Horne announced today that Mohammad Reza Amin-Sobhani (aka Robert Amini), age 61, former board member of the Al-Mahdi Benevolent Islamic Foundation of Arizona (AMBIFA), has been indicted by an Arizona State Grand Jury of 24 charges relating to fraud schemes that targeted other religious members.

“Fraudulent schemes have long been a blight on society, and when these actions are committed in connection with a religious organization, the effect can be especially devastating to the victims,” Horne stated.  “I am passionate about vigilantly protecting consumers from this kind of scam.  Now that this indictment has been handed up, the Attorney General’s Office will continue its vigorous efforts to bring the alleged perpetrators of this fraud to justice.”

It is believed that Amin-Sobhani utilized his standing in AMBIFA to convince other organization members to invest money into an entity he owned called Expert Development & Investment (“EDI”). Defendant allegedly promised low-risk investment opportunities with high interest returns, falsely portraying EDI to be a lucrative, multi-million dollar company involved in high-profit ventures like commercial real estate and luxury aircraft sales. Subsequent investigation, however, has revealed Defendant’s allegations to be untrue. The State’s evidence suggests EDI is not a viable company which conducts business in any of these areas.

Investors claim Defendant has failed to pay them back their promised monies, to date. It is believed that Amin-Sobhani received more than $2.4 Million as a result of the fraud schemes.

Amin-Sobhani arraignment date is set for May 16, 2011 at 8:00 a.m., before Commissioner Brian Rees.

This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Yukiko Kuwata. These charges are merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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