Grand Rapids - A Lowell man whose home was searched by state and federal authorities Thursday has been charged with three federal crimes.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Green says 35 year-old Rami Saba made an initial court appearance this morning before magistrate Ellen Carmody. Green says Saba is facing charges of mail fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Carmody ordered Saba back to jail pending a preliminary hearing next Wednesday.
Agents searching Saba's home Thursday drew neighborhood attention.
The family of an autistic man, missing from Saranac since September, says Saba may be tied to that man's dissapearance. That man, Don Dietz, was often called the "bicycle man" of Saranac, in Ionia County.
Dietz's brother Marv told WZZM 13 that Saba had contacted Don Dietz, inquiring about investing Dietz' money.
The affidavit in the case describes how Dietz' brother, Marv, received a phone call on September 30th from someone with a heavy foreign accent, claiming to be Don Dietz. The caller said he had gotten a girl pregnant and was traveling to Greece with her. When Marv Dietz questioned the man's accent, he said he was very stressed and had had a stroke. The caller claimed he needed to access Don Dietz' Lake Michigan Credit Union and wanted money wired. When Gene Dietz asked the caller his mother's middle name, the caller hung up.