Though many of the details have been shielded from public view at the request of prosecutors, several sources told the Sun Sentinel that the informant in question is Mohammed Agbareia, 51, of Palm Beach County. Agbareia is a convicted fraudster who was arrested in June on new federal fraud charges.
Agbareia was convicted of operating a “stranded traveler” fraud in 2006 for repeatedly tricking people into sending him money after claiming he lost his wallet or tickets. He pleaded guilty, got a break on his punishment and was released early from federal prison in late 2006 after serving about half of a two-year term.
Prosecutors told a judge earlier this year that they believe Agbareia went back to committing fraud very soon after he was released from prison — and while he was providing undercover help to the FBI on the Hubbard case.
Agbareia, a Palestinian citizen from Israel who has no legal immigration status in the U.S., admitted to FBI agents on several occasions that he was still committing crimes and continued doing so “despite numerous warnings to cease,” prosecutors said in court in June.
The FBI called him a “national security asset” and praised his “usefulness as a provider of intelligence to the FBI” and work as an “informer” in court records filed in 2009.
The most recent criminal charges against Agbareia allege that he resumed his “stranded traveler” fraud in 2007 and continued it until the day before he was arrested on June 21, prosecutors told a judge after his arrest.
Agbareia is jailed and has pleaded not guilty to six wire fraud charges spanning the period from 2007 to 2017. Investigators said he preyed on and defrauded Muslim people, mosques and Islamic groups on at least 200 occasions — involving about $300,000 since 2011. The fraud charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
Tuesday, August 08, 2017
“In defending this nation against the threat of terrorism it is neither necessary nor proper for our government to abandon the bedrock principles upon which this nation was founded. All that is sacred in our national life is secured by the promise that this is a nation of laws and not of men,” the defense wrote. “Through its illegal conduct, the government has forfeited its right to prosecute Mr. Hubbard … [and he] respectfully requests that this court dismiss the indictment against him for the government’s outrageous conduct.”
That was AFPDs Vanessa Chen and Anthony Natale in their motion to dismiss terrorism charges for outrageous government conduct. Paula McMahon is on it here: