Posted: Mar 6, 2013 4:21 PM by KATC
LAFAYETTE, La - Nasar Latif Raja, 41, of St. Martinville, pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Magistrate Judge C. Michael Hill to stealing his brother's identity in order to launder
thousands of dollars.
According to court records, authorities questioned Raja in January 2012 during an investigation of synthetic marijuana sales at his brother's St. Martinville convenience store. Raja used his brother's name and told authorities he was the owner of the store. Authorities later searched the store March 20, 2012, as part of the investigation and
discovered that Raja had a checking account and safety deposit box listed under his brother's name. The safety deposit box contained $219,000. Raja admitted to opening the account using his brother's Social Security number and driver's license so that he could hide the fact that he possessed the money. Raja's brother stated that he never authorized
Raja to use his identification.
Raja faces 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both with three years of supervised release. A sentencing date has not been set.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. McManus is prosecuting the case.