MIL-OSI Security: Former Fugitive Sentenced for Laundering $1.5M Embezzled from Kuwaiti Embassy

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Source: United States Department of Justice

A Virginia man was sentenced today to three years in prison for laundering money he and others embezzled from the Health Office of the Embassy of Kuwait in Washington, D.C.

According to court documents, from approximately January 2014 through September 2014, Ahmed El Khebki, also known as Ahmed Khider El Khebki, of Alexandria, and his co-conspirators stole money from the Kuwait Embassy’s Health Office that had been earmarked to pay for medical care for Kuwaiti citizens who traveled to the United States to receive treatment at, among other places, Johns Hopkins Hospital and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. To embezzle and launder the funds, El Khebki and his co-conspirators created fictitious entities with names such as “Hopiken” and “MedStars,” which were meant to mimic the names of actual U.S. healthcare providers that partnered with the Kuwait Embassy to provide care to Kuwaiti patients. The co-conspirators submitted fraudulent invoices in those entities’ names to the Health Office, claiming that they had provided medical services to real Kuwaiti citizens. The financial attaché for the Health Office, who participated in the conspiracy, and other co-conspirators who worked at the Health Office approved the invoices and wrote checks to El Khebki and his co-conspirators’ fake companies.

The Health Office transferred to El Khebki and his co-conspirators more than $1.5 million in payments for fraudulent invoices. El Khebki personally deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars of stolen funds into accounts he controlled.   

In 2014, El Khebki fled the United States to avoid arrest for his involvement in the conspiracy and remained a fugitive until he was arrested in Cairo, Egypt, and returned to the United States in 2021. El Khebki pleaded guilty in May 2023 to participating in a conspiracy to launder more than $1.5 million from the Embassy of Kuwait.

Two of El Khebki’s co-conspirators, Wael Sedik and Huwida Fadl, were previously sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy. Hussein Fadl Osman, El Khebki’s co-defendant and Fadl’s brother, remains at large. At the request of the Kuwaiti government, the United States dismissed criminal charges against the Health Office’s financial attaché and returned her to Kuwait to face prosecution.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. made the announcement.

HSI investigated the case.

Senior Trial Attorney Jonathan Baum and Trial Attorney Shai D. Bronshtein of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) prosecuted the case.

This case is part of the department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is led by a team of dedicated MLARS prosecutors in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies, and often with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption and, where appropriate, to seize, forfeit, and repatriate those recovered assets to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office. Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the United States should email kleptocracy@usdoj.gov or submit information at https://tips.fbi.gov/.             

MIL Security OSI