Florida man who defrauded victims, banks in Ohio sent to prison

Authorities say Adesh Bissoon stole identities and caused $3.5 million in losses, including more than $1 million in COVID-relief funds.

A Florida man who conspired to steal identities to fraudulently obtain credit and COVID-19 relief funds, including residents of southern Ohio, was sentenced in downtown Cincinnati to eight years in prison.

Adesh Alvin Bissoon, 43, of Miami Beach, Fla., defrauded several victims who resided in the Southern District of Ohio, which serves more than 5 million citizens in 48 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Bissoon caused at least $3.5 million in losses, including more than $1 million in COVID-19 disaster relief funds.

Bissoon, and his co-conspirators, Michael Jacques Joseph, 39, of Miami Beach, Fla., and Victor Torres, 40, of Apollo Beach, Fla., defrauded at least 11 banks, authorities said. Joseph and Torres are pending sentencing and have pled guilty.

Federal agents searched one of Bissoon’s residences and found multiple driver’s licenses, approximately 200 credit and/or debit cards, and more than 10 checkbooks. All of the items were in other people’s names.

Agents also found hundreds of documents containing victims’ personal identification information, about $70,000 in cash; tens of thousands of dollars worth of precious metals; and seven cellphones. Each of the cell phones was labeled with a victim’s name.

Court documents show that from 2012 through August 2020, Bissoon and co-conspirators used the Dark Web to obtain victims’ personal information. They also created fraudulent Social Security cards and driver’s licenses, which they then used to open financial accounts in the victims’ names.

Convenience checks in high dollar amounts were requested by Bissoon, and then money was drawn against the victims’ lines of credit.

He also registered LLCs with states and the IRS to obtain business credit cards with higher credit limits.

Bissoon then separately applied for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Association using LLCs he established, again using individual victims’ personal information, claiming that those businesses were experiencing temporary difficulties and loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

Bissoon was charged in August 2020 and released on a bond in Florida. His pre-trial release was revoked when he attempted to steal another $150,000 from a bank, falsely claiming to be the victim of unauthorized bank transfers, authorities said.

A grand jury indicted Bissoon in September 2020, along with Joseph and Torres, on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and mail fraud affecting a financial institution, as well as aggravated identity theft.

Bissoon had faced decades in prison as conspiracy to commit bank fraud and fraud affecting a financial institution each comes with a maximum 30-year federal prison sentence. Aggravated identity theft would have added two more years for each count.

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