Scattered Clouds 46° Good Afternoon
Scattered Clouds 46° Good Afternoon

Sandy Annabi's uncle charged with impersonating FBI agent

The uncle of convicted Yonkers City Council member Sandy Annabi has been impersonating an FBI agent in a scam designed to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims he promised to help with legal problems, federal prosecutors said.

Ayman "Mike" Rabadi, 52, was arrested by FBI agents Thursday in Yonkers, following a two-year investigation, authorities said. Rabadi is the brother of Annabi's mother, May Annabi.

Sandy Annabi, 42, is serving a 6-year federal prison sentence on public corruption charges. Last year she and her distant cousin, former Yonkers GOP boss Zehy Jereis, were found guilty of conspiring to sell her city council vote on development projects in the city.

Federal prosecutors said Jereis, 41, controlled Annabi's vote by giving her nearly $200,000 in cash and gifts over several years. Jereis was sentenced to four years in prison

According to prosecutors, Rabadi first convinced victims of his scam that he was an FBI agent, then offered to use fictional expertise and contacts to help the victims with everything from immigration problems to criminal charges.

Rabadi sent one victim a photo of himself in what appeared to be an FBI raid jacket, according to a criminal complaint filed in White Plains federal court by FBI Special Agent Daniel Conlon.

"A review of FBI indices shows that Rabadi has never been employed by the FBI ... nor could he have been employed, because of his extensive criminal history," Conlon wrote.

That criminal history includes a 1986 conviction in federal court for conspiracy to distribute heroin. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison in that case. Annabi's parents, May and Sami Annabi, were convicted in the same case.

In 1987, Rabadi was convicted of lying to a federal grand jury and sentenced to probation.

In 1992, he was again convicted on drug-related charges and again sentenced to probation. He was sent to prison for 2 years when he was found in 1995 to have violated his probation.

In 2008, Rabadi was convicted in New Jersey of theft by deception in a case where he also posed as a law enforcement agent to scam victims out of $75,000.

In the current case, federal authorities said Abadi told a woman in November 2010 that he was an FBI agent and that for $180,000 he could help her family with immigration problems. The victim, who was not named in the complaint, traveled several times to Yonkers to make payments to Rabadi, Conlon said.

In January 2012, using the name Michael Quinones, Rabadi told a victim he was second-in-command of the FBI and that his brother-in-law was the head of immigration, federal authorities said. He told the victim that for $50,000 he could provide green cards, driver's licenses, Social Security cards and passports.

Then, in July 2012, using the name Mike Ayman, Rabadi told a cooperating witness that he was an FBI agent and that, for $300,000, he could get a relative to the witness out of jail, FBI agents said.

On Thursday, an undercover FBI agent, posing as a relative of the cooperating witness, met Abadi at the China Rice Restaurant in Yonkers and gave him a $10,000 down payment for the service.

Federal agents took Abadi into custody immediately after he left the restaurant.

He is charged with impersonating a federal officer and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

A lawyer for Abadi could not be located.

He is expected to be before a federal magistrate judge in White Plains Friday afternoon.

More news

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to Newsday is free for Optimum customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.