FBI agents and Escondido police detectives arrested Hamze Mohamad Karnib, who goes by Alex Karnib, Thursday at his San Marcos home on suspicion of extortion and making criminal threats, FBI spokeswoman Davene Butler said.
Karnib allegedly targeted Latinos and demanded repayment well above the amounts borrowed by his victims, Butler said. He then allegedly intimidated and threatened borrowers who couldn’t meet his demands.
He was being held in lieu of $50,000 pending arraignment, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 8, according to jail records.
“Threatening and criminal behavior that targets the Latino or any other members of our community will not be tolerated,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said in a statement. “Our prosecution team is reviewing the thorough and dedicated investigation by the FBI and Escondido Police Department to determine the appropriate criminal charges that will hold him accountable.”
Authorities are asking anyone who was victimized by Karnib or who has information about his loansharking activities to contact the FBI at 858-320- 1800 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.