Evidence questioned in fraud case

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio )WKBN) – A Youngstown man accused in a $1 million dollar real estate fraud case says statements he made to FBI agents should be thrown out.

Ondrea Shabazz is arguing in federal court that statements he made to FBI agents during three separate interviews that took place April 19, 2013, June 19, 2013, and July 17, 2013, should be suppressed because he was not read his rights or mirandized.

In court papers filed this week, Shabazz says he was interviewed by FBI agents at their Youngstown office and at his wife’s restaurant.

Shabazz argued that the interviews conducted at the FBI Office in Youngstown were behind closed doors. He said he was “locked” in a room and could only leave if someone “buzzed” him out. Shabazz said he felt he was compelled to submit to the interview and didn’t think he had an option not to comply.

United State District Attorney David Toepfer argued in his response filed on Wednesday that Shabazz was not in custody during the interviews and free to leave at any time. He said agents offered Shabazz several opportunities to take breaks, but he refused.

Shabazz also signed a paper stating that the statements he made were true.

A judge will make a decision on the motion at some point prior to an April 14 trial date.

Shabazz was indicted in November on 59 counts of real estate, identity and mail fraud through his company Real Estate Investment Connection.

Authorities said Shabazz illegally took ownership of dozens of abandoned properties around the area by filing phony deeds with the Mahoning County Recorder and forging the names of the real owners. He would then sell the properties and retain the profit.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s