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Jordanian gets 4 years in federal fraud.

The patriarch of a Jordanian-American family facing charges in the murder of an Iranian-American woman was sentenced Monday to federal prison in an unrelated case involving fraud to obtain Social Security benefits.

US District Judge Lynn Hughes ordered Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, 57, to serve almost four years for his role in defrauding the Social Security Administration for more than a decade and to pay $290,651 in restitution.

Irsan's wife, Shmou Ali Alrawabdeh, 37, and his daughter, 30-year-old Nadia Irsan, were convicted of providing false statements to authorities about the fraud scheme. Each of them previously received 24-month federal sentences.

Social Security fraud is a federal crime. The murder of Iranian immigrant Gelareh Bagherzadeh is a Texas state crime and Irsan will face another trial on murder charges in state court.

According to court documents and testimony, Ali Irsan applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in 2002 by claiming that he was disabled and had been unable to work since 1990. His wife also claimed a disability and began to receive benefits in 2005.

In seeking that financial support, which is reserved for people with limited assets, family members didn't report a bank account in Jordan with a balance that fluctuated between $4,000 and $16,000 or a 2010 lawsuit settlement check for $75,000. Hidden cash was found during a 2014 raid on their home.

The wife and daughter were convicted of falsifying documents to aid the fraud scheme. Nadia Irsan, who was unemployed, had a checking account with deposits of more than $250,000.

Ali Irsan, who is a naturalized US citizen, has been charged with capital murder in the 2012 shooting deaths of 30-year-old Gelareh Bagherzadeh outside her parents' Houston home and of his son-in-law, Coty Beavers, 28. "Capital murder" means he can be subject to the death penalty if convicted.

Bagherzadeh was a friend of Ali Irsan's daughter, Nesreen, who was married to Beavers. Both women were studying molecular genetics at the University of Texas.

Ali Irsan, a strict disciplinarian and observant Muslim father, allegedly was outraged when Nesreen married a Christian without his permission. He blamed Bagherzadeh, who was dating Beavers' twin, Cory, for encouraging his daughter's relationship.

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Title Annotation:Diaspora: Around the globe
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Jul 10, 2015
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