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Johns Creek man pleads guilty to defrauding elderly man

Aziz Choukri, 59, of Johns Creek, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud after admitting that he defrauded a 79-year-old retiree of approximately $650,000, according to a news release.

“Fraud schemes targeting the elderly are a particularly egregious type of fraud that often deplete the victims’ entire life savings,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “This conviction affirms our commitment to prosecuting those who prey on our most vulnerable citizens.”

 “The victimization of the elderly through financial scams represent one of the most significant types of cases the Secret Service investigates to combat fraud,” said Steven Baisel, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Atlanta Field Office. 

“Those who prey on the vulnerable and cheat them out of their life savings through their cunning lies and financial schemes must recognize that the Secret Service, along with our many law enforcement partners, will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law and bring a measure of justice to the victims.”

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: In 2016, Choukri met the victim, then 79 years old, at a fitness facility in Alpharetta. Choukri cultivated a close relationship with the elderly victim to gain his trust, the release said.  Choukri convinced the victim to invest almost $650,000 in his music management company.  Choukri convinced the victim that the investment carried no risk and was guaranteed to earn a return. 

Specifically, Choukri promised that the victim would be compensated the full amount of any investment, plus interest, and even told the victim that he would guarantee him a $1,000,000 return.  Choukri did not tell the victim that the money would be used to fund Choukri’s lifestyle. 

Instead of using the money as an investment in a music business, Choukri used the victim’s money largely on Choukri’s own personal expenses, including, among other things, Choukri’s activities of daily living, like fast food, gas, and Uber, payments for his daughter’s college tuition and sorority expenses, dental work for his girlfriend, payments to his girlfriend for tutoring and babysitting, and repayment of a personal loan.  

Choukri also transferred a significant amount of the victim’s money to his children’s accounts and withdrew thousands of dollars in cash.  Notably, Choukri’s accounts show that almost all Choukri’s income in 2016 and 2017 was from the victim. 

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14, before U.S. District Court Judge Eleanor L. Ross.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angela Adams and Tal C. Chaiken are prosecuting the case.