35 year old Haider Zafar, formerly of south Florida is currently residing in Federal custody after being indicted in the Southern District of Ohio for 118 counts of Wire Fraud, 13 counts of money laundering, and one count of filing a false federal income tax return. The meat and potatoes of Zafar’s indictment alleges that he made false representations that his uncle was a high ranking political figure in the Pakistani government, and that Zafar and members of his family knew of several pieces of land in Pakistan that the Pakistani government planned to purchase in order to build military facilities. The nature of Zafar’s alleged scandal was that he told potential investors that they could supply the funds and that Zafar could swoop in and purchase the land prior to the Pakistani government and ultimately sell the land to the government for a very large profit. He would then share the profit with the investors. Things got really interesting at Zafar’s detention hearing earlier this week when investment attorney Andrew Fine testified that Zafar had bilked former and current Miami Heat players out of approximately 8 million dollars in addition to the existent allegation. Specifically, Mr. Fine mentioned former University of Florida star Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis and guard James Jones as victims of Zafar’s alleged impropriety.
Haider Zafar is facing a typical allegation of white collar criminal conduct. As such, his potential sentence, should he ultimately enter a plea, would be driven primarily by the amount of money conned out of potential investors. As alleged thus far via indictment, Zafar is said to have scammed 10 million dollars out of a Washington DC business and if the allegations of his misgivings while living in Florida are true, he could have an additional 8 million dollars added via superseding indictment. Zafar will be facing up to 20 years in prison on his wife fraud counts and 10 years for his money laundering counts. The maximum prison term for his tax evasion allegations is only 3 years or 1 year respectively, depending upon the statute used. For purposes of example of how the Federal Sentencing Guidelines work for cases involving money, we’ll use the wire fraud guideline 2B1.1 as it could apply to Zafar. Because wire fraud has a maximum penalty of 20 years, the base offense level would be a 7. Next, in applying the specific characteristics of this alleged offense, we must attribute the monetary amount scammed. In this case, as it seems to stand currently, that number would be 8 million dollars. As such we must add 20 levels per Guideline 2B1.1(b)(K). Depending on the sophistication of Zafar’s scam, there could be an additional 2 level increase in total offense level under 2B1.1(b)(9)(C). As with any Federal case, should a plea ultimately be entered, the bulk of the work for a Federal criminal attorney is in a proper sentence calculation and the challenges that may accompany. For Zafar, based on the limited information we have, he could score out to 29 levels (87-188 months depending on criminal history category)
before any kind of acceptance of responsibility or other means of reducing his potential sentence. This number does not consider the Florida victims and could get higher should the US Attorney’s Office include them.
Nearly every aspect of a Federal criminal charge is more difficult for a defendant than had the charge arose in State court. For this reason it is imperative that a charged individual hire the right attorney to represent his or her interest throughout the process. Jason Mayberry is routinely in the Federal criminal system representing those accused and is ready to help you. Contact our firm today for a free consultation at 813-444-7435 or at 727-771-3847.