Lachine bread factory owner who hired Syrian refugees is in hot water in the U.S.
You may recall the name Amoun Foods from news stories back in the summer of last year — the Lachine pita bread factory made headlines after they hired several new Syrian refugees.
The factory's owner, however, is now facing fraud charges in the United States.
A prosecutor in Connecticut says 26-year-old Mohsen Youssef is behind a scheme that defrauded banks and other groups out of around $3 million. In order to start the company here in Montreal — the one that employed the refugees -— he borrowed the cash from six banks and the state's Department of Community Economic Development, but allegedly forged the documents and even web sites to get the cash.
Back in the summer, Youssef earned praise for his willingness to hire refugees at the pita bread plant. Mehmet Deger, the head of a Dorval mosque which helped arrange for the refugees to work at the plant, says he was told back in December the plant had a mold problem — effectively ending operations there.
"There were some refugees working there, and they were laid off," he says. "We found some other jobs for them."
CJAD 800 passed by the plant on Tuesday morning. The lights were out, the door was locked, and a Superior Court notice can be found in its front window.
Deger was shocked to hear that Youssef is facing fraud charges.
"No way. I don't think so. He's not a thief. I don't think it's true."
-CJAD 800's Emily Campbell contributed to this report.