bundles of money
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An Oct. 31 trial date is set for a woman who worked at a Hawthorne credit union and a man she met online, who are facing fraud charges stemming from a scheme in which she’s accused of opening more than 30 fraudulent lines of credit for her boyfriend, who allegedly siphoned nearly $1.1 million before the scam was discovered.

Indira Mohabir, 41, of La Habra, and Phillip Cook, 50, who appears to have lived recently in Ohio and Georgia, are charged in an indictment returned late Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Mohabir is free on bond and Cook, who has been ordered held without bond, is being brought to Los Angeles by the U.S. Marshals Service for trial.

The 15-count updated indictment charges the two defendants with conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud, eight counts of unauthorized issuance of credit union obligations and six counts of financial institution fraud.

Mohabir, who worked as a business loan processor at Western Federal Credit Union, entered into an online relationship with Cook in November 2014 and agreed soon after to open lines of credit without the necessary oversight and approval from the credit union, according to the indictment. The scheme lasted about three months, from late 2014 to early 2015, but the majority of the credit lines were established — or doubled — over just a few days in January 2015, prosecutors allege.

In exchange for opening the lines of credit and hiding them from the credit union, Cook promised to take Mohabir on trips, and sent her a $50,000 check and flowers, court documents allege.

If convicted, Mohabir and Cook each would face up to five years in federal prison on the conspiracy count and up to 30 years for each of the substantive fraud charges.

The case is the result of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the FBI and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General. The Hawthorne Police Department provided substantial assistance, federal prosecutors noted.

–City News Service

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