One of the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives says he wants to surrender, but claims his offers are being ignored by the United States government.
Afzal ‘Bobby’ Khan has been on the run since 2014, accused of running a sham luxury car dealership in Ramsey, New Jersey, where he ripped off super-rich clientele and banks.
Investigators say Khan, who once appeared on the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" TV show, would get customers to sign off on auto loans priced higher than some houses -- but for some of the sales he didn’t have the car title, and for others he never delivered the car. They allege his bogus deals left buyers empty-handed but responsible for payments, and the owners of consignment vehicles without their cars or their money.
A grand jury indicted Khan in 2015 for allegedly swindling $1.7 million from one bank through nearly two dozen loans, but investigators later identified at least 75 more victims.
When Khan disappeared and abandoned his company, Emporio Motor Group, the FBI placed a $20,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. His next television appearance would be a Most Wanted feature on CNBC’s "American Greed."
Now Khan is claiming, in an exclusive interview with Fox News, he has been trying to negotiate his surrender for years.
“What more do I have to do? I’m basically practically begging you,” Khan said. “I’m a fugitive from justice saying ‘arrest me’.”
Khan claims prior to his indictment, he fled the country with his family after receiving death threats because of his business deals. He says since he was charged, he’s been reaching out to the U.S. Attorney’s office from his protected hideout in a country with no extradition treaty to the United States.
Local newspaper reports from 2016 indicate he did send an open letter to prosecutors, proclaiming his innocence and agreeing to return if similar charges against his younger brother were dropped. Khan admitted his business was struggling, but blamed it on a brain tumor, which he never mentioned to Fox News.
“I’m not pleading guilt, I’m not pleading innocence,” Khan said by phone from an undisclosed location. “The point is I need to get my wife and kids home so I can stand trial.”
Khan is asking that prosecutors allow his family to return to the United States with him upon his surrender, skirting a $60,000 fine for overstaying their visas they would otherwise incur if they flew commercially.
“[The prosecutor] is gonna spend $20,000 to get information about me and then who knows how much money he’s had to spend trying to chase me around the world. Let me walk into an embassy. You’ve got a military jet going home, throw me in with my wife and kids,” Khan said.
Khan says his bargaining chip is other than this offer, authorities have no way of reaching him in a non-extradition country.
The New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office would not comment on the case, nor would the FBI, but former New Jersey Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Mack says Khan’s request is a tall order from a man on the run.
“He has created this issue. He has created this quagmire. And now he’s looking for the Department of Justice to fix that for him. And I think that’s where the difficulty in this and this issue is,” Mack said. “I think it’d be tough to have a lot of sympathy for someone that has created that situation for his family.”
Khan claims his two children have not attended school or seen a doctor in the 5 years he’s been on the run, and says his wife struggles with constant pain.
Stephanie Khan told Fox News: “It is beyond difficult constantly looking over your shoulder. Being a mother and having children and them not being able to go to school like they would if we were back home is very difficult.”
Khan’s alleged victims are also less than happy to hear he’s trying to strike a deal.
“The amount of people he hurt, what he caused…he deserves whatever the punishment might be,” said Gary Brustein, who claims he lost about $1 million from bad deals with Khan.
Khan remains on the run, and did not disclose his location to Fox News. If convicted of the charges against him, he faces 100 years in prison.