21 January 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Michael S. Clemens, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that defendant, Eduardo A. Portero, a former KMart employee, entered a guilty plea before United States District Court Judge Adalberto Jodan, in Miami, Florida, to four (4) counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341, 1349, and 2, and four (4) counts of securities fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1348 and 2, in connection with a $145 million securities fraud scheme. Portero’s sentencing is set for April 8, 2005, at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Jordan. Portero faces up to twenty-five (25) years’ imprisonment for each securities fraud count and twenty (20) years for each mail fraud count, as well as fines of up to $250,000 per count.
Portero, of Miami, was arrested on September 24, 2004. The Indictment alleges that Portero used a series of aliases in an attempt to obtain unauthorized transfers of the equivalent of approximately $145,000,000 in KMart Holding Corporation (“KHC”) stock. Using the names Carmelo Almonte, Teonilo Alvarez, Emelino Padron, and Jose Barcelo, Portero sent forged, unauthorized KMart corporate resolutions and stock transfer forms requesting the transfer of KHC stock from KHC to Portero (in his alias names). Portero received the stock and then opened online brokerage accounts at E*Trade Financial Securities in the alias names. He deposited the stock certificates and then promptly requested wire transfers of the proceeds from the sale of the stock.
EquiServe, a stock transfer agent for Kmart, issued the stock upon receipt of what appeared to be valid “Certificate of Corporate Resolutions” and “Transfer of Ownership Forms,” as they were accompanied by bank medallion guarantee stamps. This stamp, when presented to the Transfer Agent with the board resolution, authorized the transfer, issuance, or redemption of the stock. EquiServe became suspicious when a package containing a stock certificate for several hundred thousand shares of KHC stock were returned as undeliverable due to Portero’s failure to list a specific apartment number on the Federal Express delivery form. Upon closer inspection, EquiServe noted that the three (3) stock requests were all being delivered to that same apartment in Miami.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Wilfredo Fernandez.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .