The son of an Iranian prince claims he could stop a welfare fraud investigation with a phone call to powerful people like Republican nominee Donald Trump, but won’t because he’s innocent.
Ali Pascal Mahvi claims to be worth about $120 million dollars, yet for the past several years has received about $300 a month in food stamps in addition to other welfare benefits. Authorities in Geauga County, Ohio, are investigating Mahvi for concealing his income to receive welfare.
“I know Trump,” he told local NBC affiliate WCNC. “I’ve had lunch with him many times and I have many other friends in high places. But I’m innocent. I don’t need their help.”
Mahvi also said he met former President Ronald Reagan, Prince Charles and other world leaders.
Since the family was ousted from Iran during the Islamic Revolution in the 1970s, Mahvi and his father, Abolfath Mirza Mahvi, built a number of successful businesses. One of those businesses, the Sugar Beach resort on the Caribbean island St. Lucia, is worth around $120 million and Mahvi still owns it.
“I had money,” Mahvi said in an interview. “I had my own airplane. I had my own yacht. I worked my ass off.”
Mahvi claims he receives no income from the St. Lucia property or any other source, making him eligible for food stamps. He also says that the Swiss bank account investigators found containing $4.2 million does not belong to him.
In addition to welfare, Mahvi has been living off loans from friends.
Police raided Mahvi’s six-acre estate as part of the fraud investigation Sept. 2. Prosecutors have not charged Mahvi with any crimes, and the investigation is ongoing. (RELATED: Millionaire Busted For Taking Food Stamps, Welfare)
“It’s outrageous to see a situation where somebody is living in a house almost worth a million dollars, a horse barn, driving luxury cars, have millions of dollars in overseas bank accounts and here they are accepting this type of assistance,” James R. Flaiz, Geauga County prosecutor, told the NBC station.
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