Prince Georges (MD) County police are investigating the death of Osama El-Atari, the 37-year-old Leesburg-area man reported missing since Wednesday.
He was found shot to death inside a pickup truck in Upper Marlboro, MD, about 3:40 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
The 37-year-old former Loudoun restaurant owner who made headlines for scamming banks out of $71 million was last seen about 5 p.m. on Feb. 10 in the 1600 block of Rochelle Avenue in Capitol Heights, MD. He was reported missing by family members the next day.
In 2009, he was the owner of the Original Steakhouse and Sports Theater in Ashburn, the Cantina Cove in Brambleton and several Buffalo Wild Wings locations, when he was charged by federal prosecutors with defrauding banks of $71 million in loans. He fled, but was located in Texas in 2010 and then pleaded guilty to bank fraud and money laundering and was sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay $53 million in restitution.
He was released from prison early, in 2014, after providing federal prosecutors with information obtained from fellow inmates about several criminal cases—including an unsolved 2005 murder of two girls, ages 8 and 9, in Illinois. In that case, conversations El-Atari recorded helped secure a conviction against Jorge Torrez, who was sentenced to death.
A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.
The Prince Georges Police Department’s Homicide Unit is investigating the case. Those with information should call 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637).