A Scots businessman on the FBI’s most-wanted list is ready to turn himself in – but claims prosecutors won’t let him.
Afzal Khan is wanted by authorities in the United States over an alleged £1.3m luxury car scam.
Khan is accused of conning a string of customers and financial firms at a motor dealership he ran in New Jersey and could face up to 100 years in prison if convicted.
Federal agents hunting the 37-year-old, originally from Edinburgh, have offered a £15,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Khan has now appeared on American television to say he wants to surrender, but claimed his offers were being ignored by prosecutors.
In a video-phone interview with Fox News, Khan said he had been hiding out in a country which has no extradition treaty with the US.
He said he would hand himself in if his wife and two daughters are flown back to America with him – allowing them to avoid fines for overstaying their visas in the country they fled to.
He said: “What more do I have to do? I’m basically practically begging you. I’m a fugitive from justice saying ‘arrest me’.
“I’m not pleading guilt, I’m not pleading innocence. The point is I need to get my wife and kids home so I can stand trial.
“The prosecutor is going to 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 claimed his two children have not attended school or seen a doctor in the five years he’s been on the run, and said his wife Stephanie struggled 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.”
It is thought Khan’s family would face fines of up to £50,000 if they flew back to the US on a commercial flight.
Flamboyant Khan, known to his clients as ‘Bobby’, opened the Emporio Motor Group in New Jersey in 2013 and maintained a high profile.
He appeared on US reality series ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ and counted members of the show’s cast among his clients.
He has been accused of a massive fraud involving super cars including Lamborghinis, Porsches and Rolls Royces.
He is accused of obtaining loans from a bank for cars that he never delivered, but for which the purchaser was still responsible.
He also said to have obtained loans for cars that were delivered, but for which neither he nor Emporio had title documents. As a result, the purchasers of these cars were liable for the loan, but could not register the vehicles.
Khan is also alleged to have offered to sell cars for customers, and then neither returned the cars nor provided any money from sales.
He has been charged with five counts of wire fraud and is said to have fraudulently obtained 21 loans totalling more than £1.3m.
Each count of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of £195,000.
Since the charges were brought investigators say they have identified 75 more victims.
Khan was born in Edinburgh to Pakistani parents and moved to America more than 20 years ago. Police and the FBI attempted to arrest him at his New Jersey home in October, 2014, but could not locate him.
He was placed on the FBI’s ten most-wanted ‘white collar criminals’ list.
In an interview he gave when he opened his car dealership in 2013, Khan boasted he had been selling luxury cars since he was 18
He said: “There’s a waiting list for any car like this, because you can’t find it, but the number of millionaires and billionaires grows every day.
“Everybody wants the next toy. This is a boutique dealership. It’s like walking into a Gucci or a Fendi store.”
The FBI wanted poster for Khan says he has ties to the United Arab Emirates, Canada, the UK and Pakistan, and may be found in those countries.
The New Jersey US Attorney’s Office and the FBI have refused to comment on the case.