Florida fugitive sentenced in $18M Va. fraud case

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A Florida man who removed his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled after being convicted in an $18 million fraud case has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy says Osama Mustafa of Tampa remains a fugitive and wasn’t present for his sentencing Tuesday in federal court in Roanoke.

The 51-year-old Mustafa was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government and other counts. He was released on bond and was awaiting sentencing when he fled.

Prosecutors say Mustafa and two other men illegally obtained fraudulent income tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service. The other two men previously pleaded guilty. One was sentenced to more than four years, the other to nearly six years.

The case was filed in Roanoke because one of Mustafa’s co-conspirators lived there.

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