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Kissimmee Car Dealer Charged With 24 Counts Of Wire Fraud

The US Attorney for the Middle District of Florida announced 24 charges of wire fraud for Hani Wafik Kaakati, 43, of Kissimmee. According to US Attorney Roger B. Handberg‘s news release, Kaakati faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. The indictment also notifies Kaakati that the United States is seeking an order of forfeiture in the amount of at least $443,137.98, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.

According to the indictment, Kaakati, through his car dealership, NextGear Automotive, entered into a floorplan financing agreement with victim Company 1.  In September 2019, Kaakati misrepresented to Company 1 the availability of funds in NextGear Automotive’s bank account, so that Company 1 would release 24 car titles to him. In fact, Kaakati had withdrawn money from that bank account so that there would be insufficient funds to cover the amount owed to Company 1 for the car titles under the floorplan financing agreement. As a result, Company 1 initiated 24 ACH transactions with NextGear Automotive’s bank account in the total amount of $528,337.98, all of which were returned for insufficient funds.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Risha Asokan.

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