Hiding for 16 years in Morocco, a federal fugitive finally surrenders

On the run for 16 years, a Moroccan- American national has finally been arrested by the American authorities. The man convicted of defrauding small businesses in the US was hiding in Morocco.


After spending 16 years hiding in Morocco, a US-naturalized 50-year-old who is suspected of defrauding a dozen small businesses in the US out of $2.8million, is in custody in New Jersey after agreeing to surrender. The international figutive is known to the American authorities as Steven Nacim, an American-Moroccan national who fled the US after an arrest warrant was issued against him, reports the American online newspaper NJ.

On Friday, 23rd of March, Steven Nacim flew back to New Jersey, where he got arrested by the authorities. Announcing the arrest, the FBI tweeted the same day stating : "FBI Newark arrested fugitive Steven Nacim who was wanted since 2002 for wire and bank frand".

Indeed, an arrest warrant was issued in 2002 against the American-Moroccan national on July the 31st, 2002, after a federal court "convicted him on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud"said the same source.

The Moroccan authorities have informed their American counterparts that Nacim was in Morocco, but his extradition was impossible as the two nations do not have an extradition treaty. "Over the years we had contact with him to remind him he was still wanted in the U.S," FBI special agent Ed Koby told the same source.

Nacim is accused of allegedly buying computer and computer-related merchandise from businesses in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and California "with checks that wound up bouncing or on credit". With the help of other Moroccan partners, he allegedly shipped the goods to Morocco through a company he created, called "Computers 3000" and which operated in Casablanca, said the FBI.

Mohamed El Cohen and Abdesslem Reda El Cohen are also wanted in the same case as they are believed to be Nacim's partners.

For the record, Nacim is a Moroccan national who used to live in Bergen County, US. He is considered a naturalized US citizen. After fleeing the American soil, he remained in the Kingdom and never left, according to the Moroccan authorities who also declared that he stayed out of trouble.