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Two Defendants Charged in Southgate Organized Retail Fraud Scheme

Today Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Ali Hassan, 33 (DOB: 06/25/1984), of Dearborn Heights, and Bilal Mohamad Taleb, 37 (DOB: 09/10/1980), of Lasalle, Ontario, Canada, in connection with an organized retail crime operation.

Allegations

From January 2018 until April 2018, the Westland Police Department conducted an investigation of an organized retail fraud scheme conducted by Defendants Hassan and Taleb. While working at the Platinum Pawn Shop, they would purchase high end merchandise that was stolen from big box stores around Metropolitan Detroit. Defendants Hassan and Taleb would sell the stolen goods through Platinum Pawn Shop located in the 15500 block of Northline in Southgate. Investigation by the Westland Police Department led to the arrest of the two defendants. More complete facts and evidence will be presented in court at the preliminary examination.

Charges Issued Against the Defendants*

Ali Hassan, 33 (DOB: 06/25/1984), of Dearborn Heights

Use of a Computer to Commit a Crime - 1 count
Organized Retail Crime - 4 counts
Second Hand Dealer Violation - 4 counts
Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property - $200 - $1,000 - 1 count
Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property - $1,000 - $20,000 - 1 count

Bilal Mohamad Taleb, 37 (DOB: 09/10/1980), of Lasalle, Ontario, Canada

Use of a Computer to Commit a Crime - 1 count
Organized Retail Crime - 2 counts
Second Hand Dealer Violation - 2 counts
Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property - $200 - $1,000 - 1 count

The defendants were arraigned on the warrants out-county in 34th District Court on April 21, 2018. The probable cause conferences are scheduled for May 4, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.; the preliminary examinations are scheduled for May 11, 2018. Both hearings are before Judge James Kandrevas in 28th District Court. Defendant Hassan received a $5,000/10% bond; Defendant Taleb received a $10,000/10% bond.

Statement of Prosecutor Kym Worthy

The impact of these cases illustrate why the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is trying to form a Business Protection Unit. These crimes cause process of goods and services to rise, insurance rates increase and businesses are reluctant to be community partners. So-called victimless crimes are a fallacy.

*The charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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