NATIONAL NEWS

Florida man sentenced to 30 months for stealing sports camp tuition to pay for vacations, gambling

Jan 30, 2024, 5:38 PM

BOSTON (AP) — A Florida man convicted of stealing tuition in 2019 from hundreds of families who planned to send their children to sports camps and spending the money on plastic surgery, vacations and gambling was sentenced Tuesday to two and a half years in prison.

Mehdi Belhassan, 53, of Tampa, was found guilty on two counts of wire fraud in October 2023. He was also sentenced Tuesday to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $575,427 and forfeiture of $443,346.

Beginning in the fall of 2018, Belhassan falsely claimed that he would operate his annual MB Sports Camps at a Boston-area college, prosecutors said. Despite the fact that the city told Belhassan he could not have his camp anywhere in Boston because he lacked the appropriate permits, he continued to promote it and collect funds from more than 300 families across the U.S., investigators said.

Belhassan also defrauded a financing company to obtain operating funds for his nonexistent camp using a fraudulent contract with a college that contained the forged signature of an administrator, prosecutors said.

He used the funds to fly to Las Vegas, where he gambled and spent the money on entertainment and hotels, prosecutors said.

National News

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks to Sen. Marco Rubio during th...

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Trump to speak at RNC as convention enters fourth day, Biden has COVID-19

The Republican National Convention culminates Thursday with former President Donald Trump expected to accept the party’s presidential nomination, achieving a comeback four years in the making and anticipated even more in the past week in light of Saturday’s assassination attempt. He is expected to accept his third consecutive party nod in prime time before thousands […]

5 minutes ago

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom in Yekaterinbur...

Associated Press

U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich appear in court in Russia for hearing on espionage charges

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich appeared in court in Russia on Thursday for the second hearing in his trial on espionage charges, the court said. Gershkovich, his employer and the U.S. government vehemently deny the charges against him. Gershkovich was accused by the Russian Prosecutor General’s office of “gathering secret information” on orders from […]

5 hours ago

FILE - A pedestrian traverses the rotunda inside the New Mexico Capitol, March 16, 2023, in Santa F...

Associated Press

New Mexico governor cites ‘dangerous intersection’ of crime and homelessness, wants lawmakers to act

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Citing what she calls the “dangerous intersection” of crime and homelessness, New Mexico’s governor is calling on lawmakers to address stubbornly high crime rates as they convene Thursday for a special legislative session. In issuing her proclamation, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham talked about a vulnerable segment of society that falls […]

6 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives on third day of the Republi...

Associated Press

FACT FOCUS: Trump, in Republican convention video, alludes to false claim 2020 election was stolen

DONALD TRUMP, alluding that the 2020 vote was stolen: “Whether you vote early, absentee, by mail or in person, we are going to protect the vote. That’s the most important thing we have to do is protect the vote. Keep your eyes open because these people want to cheat and they do cheat. And frankly, […]

7 hours ago

Supporters cheer as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives for a c...

Associated Press

‘One screen, two movies’: Conflicting conspiracy theories emerge from Trump shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former president is shot, the gunman quickly neutralized, and all of it is caught on camera. But for those who don’t believe their eyes, that’s just the start of the story. For some supporters of former President Donald Trump, the failure of the Secret Service to prevent the attempted assassination point […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Hundreds attend vigil for man killed at Trump rally in Pennsylvania before visitation Thursday

SARVER, Pa. (AP) — Hundreds of people who gathered to remember the former fire chief fatally shot at a weekend rally for former President Donald Trump were urged to find “unity” as the area in rural Pennsylvania sought to recover from the assassination attempt. Wednesday’s public event was the first of two organized to memorialize […]

7 hours ago

Florida man sentenced to 30 months for stealing sports camp tuition to pay for vacations, gambling