15 June – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker today sentenced Paulo S. Nogueira to 30 months in prison and ordered him to pay $306,000 in restitution for his role in committing bank fraud of over $1.5 million. Mr. Nogueira, 45, of San Francisco, was charged in a superseding information on October 13, 2004, and pleaded guilty on October 15, 2004. The defendant will begin serving the sentence on September 2, 2005.
In pleading guilty, Mr. Nogueira admitted that in July 2003 he opened a joint checking account at Bank of America in San Francisco under the assumed name of “Jose Nogueira Silva” and the name “Mario Mazzei.” Mr. Nogueira showed a bank employee a California driver’s license with his picture on it in the name of “Jose Nogueira Silva.” He also showed the employee a photocopy of a fake Brazilian passport in the name of “Mario Mazzei.” Mr. Nogueira admitted that he falsely told the bank employee that he knew “Mario Mazzei,” and acknowledged that he had never met any such person and knew that no such person was actually opening a joint account with him. Mr. Nogueira admitted that, on the same day he opened the account, he deposited a $622,876.25 check that bore the notation “Attn: Mario Mazzei.” The back of the check bore what appeared to be the signed name “Mario Mazzei.”
Upon being contacted, the real Mario Mazzei said that he had been waiting for a check but had never received it in the mail. Mr. Nogueira admitted that an individual in Brazil sent him this check. In pleading guilty, Mr. Nogueira acknowledged that shortly after depositing this check, he transferred nearly all of the money out of the account. Mr. Nogueira also admitted that, in August 2003 he deposited another check for $958,606.85 into the Silva/Mazzei account. The back of this check also bore what appeared to be the signed name “Mario Mazzei.” The company that the check was payable to never received the check.
Mr. Nogueira admitted receiving this check, like the earlier check, from an individual in Brazil. Bank of America placed a hold on the second check because it had doubts about the authenticity of the endorsement. Mr. Nogueira admitted that he misrepresented his identity and the supposed involvement of Mr. Mazzei in opening the joint account for the purpose of defrauding Bank of America. Mr. Nogueira admitted that he made these misrepresentations in order to be able to deposit the checks supposedly endorsed by “Mario Mazzei,” then withdraw the proceeds, even though he knew he was not entitled to those funds. Mr. Nogueira admitted that he was responsible for a total intended loss of $1,581.483, the total of the two checks he deposited into the account. The ordered restitution amount of $306,000 represents the amount of money that has not been recovered as a result of this fraud.
The prosecution is the result of a 14-month investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security. Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case with the assistance of legal secretary Nancy Dick.
A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can . Related court documents and information may be found on the U.S. District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov or on .