Friday 11 December 2020

Saba "Sam" Hanania the Victim Farmer

saba sam hanania
Saba Hanania uses his brothers ID & head shot to continue his rip offs on Facebook

There is a particular type of fraud that remains popular and is used effectively to steal money from unsuspecting victims with little to no chance of getting your money back or the perpetrator being arrested. You may of heard of Pharming which are cyber scams more often using malware designed to get your personal details including passwords and other identity details. You can learn more about Pharming by going to this link.

Pharming can also use the more traditional methods of obtaining monies through deception. For instance a perpetrator may set up a website or landing page then use Google Adwords to attract potential victims to the site. Other instances include setting up Facebook Pages and or Fake Profiles. Facebook, E'bay, Amazon, Gumtree and almost every site where you can buy goods or services has their fair share of scammers. And there are many methods they will use to attract you to a product or service which they have no intention of delivering or providing after you've parted with your hard earned.

In this article we are going to focus on one particular individual now in the car transport industry by the name of Saba Hanania, a bankrupted ex lawyer, who perfected the art of farming for victims in the legal profession. We haven't seen this person on any of the Current Affair type shows yet however he has had two write ups in The Australian Newspaper so he does have a modicum of infamy.

There are a range of reasons to use an alias however it is usually an author, actor, singer or somebody wanting anonymity to help keep their personal life out of the spotlight. Car Transport is not likely an industry where business owners and drivers would be seeking that type on anonymity. That is unless there is a motive. An operator who sets up a number of business names, companies and aliases is very likely one that you would want to avoid or at the very least research before engaging them to transport your car. There are of course the big operators in transport who will acquire businesses as part of their growth strategy however not the smaller players delivering a few cars a week.

The Law Farm

Saba Hanania is an ex lawyer whose company, Saba Lawyers, was shut down by the NSW Law Society for fraud. Hanania used Google Adwords and landing pages to farm for victims. Individual landing pages would feature specific topics 'Expert Criminal Lawyer', 'Expert on Deceased Estates' and 'Expert Compensation Lawyer' to name some.

One of Hanania's most egregious acts was as an expert compensation lawyer. He stole over $300,000.00 from compensation awarded to a seriously injured truck driver. The funds were removed by Hanania from the law firms trust account without the permission of the trucky. Hanania forged signatures on permission correspondence to withdraw monies from the Law Firm Trust account. Five years on and 9 judgements in the truckies favour, he is yet to see any of the stolen money or the awarded costs. It is estimated Hanania owes the trucky in excess of $450,000.00.

As an expert criminal lawyer, he would have defendants pay funds into the firms trust account up front. Hanania would then not turn up to court leaving defendants out of pocket and with no representation. And as an expert deceased estate lawyer he was paid $30,000.00 to sort out a $1.3M estate for a woman in the UK. What she didn't know was that he was touring Europe and the US at the time then returned to Australia and promptly went skiing on her dime. Nothing was done on the case apart from it being passed around the Saba Law Firm. Constant enquiries by the client were ignored. The money paid had been used up on Hanania's holiday and she lost all entitlements to the estate.

There are many more individual instances of fraud by Hanania, some still before the courts. If the NSW Law Society acted on the very first complaint about Hanania the incredible amount of financial ruin and suffering caused by his appalling behaviour could have been avoided. Victims are hoping to get some compensation from the NSW Law Society Fidelity Fund. Claims against the fund closed on July 3rd, 2020 and at time of writing the NSW Law Society had not been heard from since.

Sam Hanania over tow weight by at least 2 ton
Alias Sam Hanania over tow weight for a Ford Raptor by over 2 Ton.

Farming a New Crop - Hanania pivots to Car Transport

Saba Hanania, Sam Hanania, Simon Hanania, Simon H and Simon Claude are one and the same. Saba Hanania has been using his brother identity (Sam Hanania) to rip off car owners and professional drivers on Facebook for the past 12 months. They're maybe other aliases we are not aware of. Hanania's Businesses include RMC Transport, MC Car Transport, Race My Car and Prestige Car Transport. Like the aliases there may be others. Each of the businesses have website landing pages and Facebook Pages. Each of the aliases have fake Facebook Profiles. Google Adwords and Facebook Groups are used to Farm for victims.

The Hanania Modus Operandi (MO)

Planting the seed. Using Google Adwords to drive traffic to landing pages and aliases strategically posting in various Facebook car groups Hanania attracts car owners requiring their vehicles transported. Hanania quotes the job, gets payment up front and in some cases does the job. According to some user comments he does it relatively well although there have been some horror stories around damage to vehicles and very late on pick up and delivery. There have even been stolen vehicle reports made to Police. Hanania has explained these off as a "misunderstanding" and the car turns up delivered by another carrier. Negative comments are quickly deleted from Hanania's various pages. Leaving this all aside we'll focus on the scam.

The No Show Scam

As we are all aware chasing down any amount of money less than about $10k in Australia is a complete waste of time, energy and resources. Even if you win and costs are awarded you still have to get the money. Ex lawyer Hanania knows this all too well.

So you have landed on a Hanania page or website via a Google search or a post on Facebook. Contact is made, you've agreed the quote, paid the money and you are now waiting for your car to be picked up and delivered to the agreed destination. There has even been a few txt's exchanged confirming ETA and some pleasantries, all is good.

Pick up time arrives, pick up time passes, waiting, waiting, waiting, better txt my new mate Sam, Simon or Saba and see where he has got too. No reply. Better ring, goes to voicemail. Try again and again and again, no response!! You go to the website, fill out a form, you go to his facebook page and message him . . . . no response. Unbeknown to you he has blocked your number. You realise you've been dudded. What you didn't know is a better job landed and when that happens your job ends up a no show.

The seed was planted, the crop brought in a tidy sum however not enough to go to court over. You can go to Police and make a report. They'll likely tell you it's a commercial matter. Don't feel too bad, you weren't the first nor will you be the last. According to posts about Hanania on Facebook no-shows are a regular occurrence. Just this past week alone over $6000.00 in no-shows and no contact were reported on Facebook. Hanania is an expert at fraud with incidences going right back to the early 2000's.

Follow The Money

Where did the money fraudulently taken from the Saba Lawyers trust account go? For a bankrupted ex lawyer Hanania has accumulated a lot of transport kit all of which is parked at his home in Belfield where, when visited by authorities wanting to serve documents, he apparently doesn't live any more. Parked in the garage in Belfield is also a $200k Lotus Race car and a very rare Ducati apparently valued at over $150k. Hanania has boasted in texts he owns a stable of over $2M in cars and bikes. All assets are now in wife Marcella's name. Marcella recently advertised a Ducati part on Gumtree. Previous sales on Gumtree by Marcella include a 6hp petrol compressor. Hanania has recently ordered another new Ford Ranger from Heartland Ford in Greenacre valued at over $56k. Not bad for a bankrupt.

The client money stolen from the Law Firms Trust account had to go to another account and may have even been distributed to more accounts. It doesn't come out in cash. The fact is there is a money trail and we are not talking small change here. All the Hanania assets are now in the wife's name. Where did she get the money from to accumulate all these assets? Tax records would reveal her income. There is a file on record at the NSW Law Society full of victim statements, forged documents and signatures.

In NSW concealing a serious indictable offence falls under SECT 316 of the CRIMES ACT 1900. According to (1) of this Act, if a person knows or believes another person has committed a serious indictable offence and has information which might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension of the offender or the prosecution or conviction of the offender for it fails without reasonable excuse to report it to the police or other appropriate authority, that other person is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.

Are the people handling the Hanania case at the NSW Law Society immune from prosecution under the ACT? Why don't NSW Police request a copy of the file? There are enough incidents on the Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS) database to at least raise a red flag.

With all that is known about Saba Hanania you would think there would be some interest from authorities in investigating him. If you walked into the local Woollies and got caught stealing a $5.00 chocolate you'd be charged with shop lifting. Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must not accept payment for products or services if they do not intend to supply them. The ACCC have a bit of a bark but they have no teeth and frankly aren't interested. They will advise you to take legal action. NSW Fair Trading aren't interested, to them its a commercial matter so don't waste your time there.

If you have been dudded by this bloke or you know anybody who has report it immediately to Police. Contact us to get his "correct" contact details. At least this does get the incident onto the COPS database.

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