A CAPITAL businessman who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted list has been charged with a £1 million luxury car scam.
Edinburgh-born Afzal Khan is accused of conning a string of customers and financial firms at a motor dealership he ran in the US and could face up to 100 years in prison if convicted.
Federal agents hunting the 32-year-old fear he may have fled to Pakistan and have offered a $20,000 (£13,000)reward for information leading to his arrest.
Khan, known to clients as Bobby, opened the Emporio Motor Group in New Jersey in 2013 and maintained a high profile. He appeared on US reality series The Real Housewives of New Jersey and counted members of the show’s cast among his clients.
His case was heard in his absence by a federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey, who voted in favour of issuing an indictment against Khan.
He has been accused of a massive fraud involving super cars including Lamborghinis, Porsches and Rolls Royces.
He is accused of obtaining loans from a bank for cars he never delivered, but for which the purchaser was still responsible. He also obtained loans for cars that were delivered, but for which neither he nor Emporio had title documents.
As a result, the purchasers of these cars were liable for the loan, but could not register the vehicles. Khan also offered to sell cars for customers, but neither returned the cars nor provided money from car sales.
He has been charged with five counts of wire fraud and is said to have fraudulently obtained 21 loans totalling more than £1.08m.
Each count of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of £160,000.
Paul Fishman, the US Attorney for New Jersey, said: “A Newark federal grand jury returned an indictment charging the owner of a Ramsey, New Jersey, car dealership with defrauding customers and banks out of $1.7m.
“Afzal Khan, aka Bobby Khan, 32, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, is charged with five counts of wire fraud. Khan, who was initially charged by complaint on December 23, 2014, is still at large.”
Khan was born in Edinburgh to Pakistani parents and moved to America more than 20 years ago. Police and the FBI attempted to arrest him at his New Jersey home in October but could not locate him.
He was placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted “white collar criminals” list. Sources close to the case say he is believed to be in Pakistan.
In an interview he gave when he opened his car dealership in 2013, Khan boasted that he had been selling luxury cars since he was 18. He said: “There’s a waiting list for any car like this, because you can’t find it, but the number of millionaires and billionaires grows every day. Everybody wants the next toy. This is a boutique dealership. It’s like walking into a Gucci or a Fendi store.”
An FBI spokesman said: “Afzal Khan is wanted for allegedly defrauding customers and financial institutions while he was the owner of Emporio Motor Group, a car dealership in Ramsey, New Jersey.
“The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Afzal Khan.”