SF man charged in $25M Ponzi scheme

Maher Talal Muhawieh, 31, a San Francisco real estate investor, was indicted in a $25 million Ponzi scheme that victimized more than 80 people in the Mission district and the Haight.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Muhawieh lied to his victims to get them to lend him money while he was either using the cash to pay off other debts or transfer the money elsewhere.

“Muhawieh instead used the lenders’ funds to pay interest on loans from other lenders, for personal expenses and to invest in retail businesses located in San Francisco,” the indictment said.

He appeared in court Friday and was charged with 12 counts of wire fraud. He has posted a $375,000 bond and is scheduled to return to court Sept. 21.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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