By Ivan Pereira
Malcolm X’s youngest daughter will be paying back the family friend she defrauded years ago more than $55,000 in restitution, the Queens district attorney said last week.
Malikah Shabazz pleaded guilty last Thursday to identity theft in a case that dates back to five years ago, DA Richard Brown said. Shabazz, 46, admitted to using the name and personal information of the 70-year-old widow of one of her father’s bodyguards to apply for credit cards in her name and make several purchases, according to Brown.
“The defendant, who preyed upon the trusting nature of a once-close family friend, has admitted her guilt in committing a serious felony offense and will be ordered to make her victims financially whole. As such, this is a fair and reasonable resolution to the case,” he said in a statement.
Queens Supreme Court Judge Fernando M. Camacho scheduled a sentencing date for July 28 and indicated he would sentence her to five years probation if she pays $55,884.28 to the credit card companies she misled during the ordeal that lasted from August 2006 to November 2007, the DA said.
Khaula Bakr, of Far Rockaway, whose husband was with the civil rights leader when he was assassinated in 1965, received a letter from Wells Fargo that indicated she had a credit account that was past due in the amount of $28,789, Brown said. The transactions listed on the credit card account included purchases to Bell South, Bank of America, GE, Lowe’s Capital One, Discover Card, Midnight Velvet, AT&T and Wells Fargo, according to the DA.ï»¿
She had never opened an account with the bank and decided to run three credit check reports to see what happened. Bakr, who had been close with Malcolm X’s family over the years, including the time that they lived in East Elmhurst, discovered that the Wells Fargo account was listed under a Columbia, S.C., address, which belonged to Shabazz, Brown said.
The credit reports also uncovered two credit card accounts that listed Bakr’s name but had Shabazz’s South Carolina address and had a total of nearly $27,000 in past due chargesï»¿, according to the DA.
Shabazz obtained the widow’s personal information to apply for these accounts by asking her for help involving a child-care power of attorneyï»¿, the DA said. After Bakr gave her the information, Shabazz never gave her the documents for the power of attorney, Brown said.
A warrant was issued for Shabazz’s arrest in October 2009. She was apprehended by North Carolina authorities earlier this year and held on $100,000 bail.
Camacho indicated that if she does not pay the restitution during the probation period, Shabazz faces up to seven years in prison, Brown said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.