LawFuel – Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the indictment of
JORGE ENRIQUE YEPES on wire fraud and forgery charges for
perpetrating a scheme in an attempt to become the Chief Financial
Officer (“CFO”) of an international company (the “Hiring
Company”), by forging correspondence purportedly written by an
attorney at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission
(“SEC”). YEPES was arrested on May 29, 2008 on a federal
criminal Complaint. According to the Indictment and Complaint
filed in Manhattan federal court:
YEPES currently purports to be the Vice President of
Finance for the Americas for a Fortune 500 company with $6.3
billion in sales (the “Current Employer”). In fact, he was fired
from the Current Employer for inappropriate conduct in June 2006.
Since April 2008, YEPES has engaged in a scheme to mislead and
defraud the Hiring Company, an entity in the business of
providing packaging solutions, in an effort to obtain employment
as its CFO — a position that pays an annual salary of
approximately $300,000, in addition to a performance bonus and
equity interest in the company. YEPES carried out the scheme in
part by emailing fictitious documents and correspondence to a
Manhattan-based national executive search firm (“the Search
Firm”), in an effort to satisfy the Search Firm’s due diligence.
YEPES had previously been requested to voluntarily
provide information in connection with an investigation by the
SEC for his conduct while employed at another entity (the “Former
Employer”). In his efforts to become CFO of the Hiring Company,
YEPES informed a representative of the Search Firm that his
assistance with the SEC investigation was no longer needed and
that the SEC did not foresee any future actions against him. In
fact, however, the SEC remained interested in interviewing YEPES
in furtherance of its investigation into the Former Employer.
YEPES also created and emailed false documents to the Search
Firm, including: (1) a forged letter written on SEC letterhead
and purportedly signed by an SEC attorney (the “SEC Attorney”)
saying that YEPES had provided proof of irregularities at the
Former Employer; and (2) a fictitious email from the SEC Attorney
to YEPES saying that YEPES had provided valuable information and
that the SEC required no further information from him, wishing
him “best of luck in . . . future endeavors”.
YEPES also created and sent to an employee of the
Search Firm an email, purporting to be written from the personal
email account of the CFO of the Current Employer, saying that
YEPES had discovered and disclosed irregularities with the Former
Employer and was a valuable team member of the Current Employer.
In fact, the CFO of the Current Employer did not write or send
the emails to the Search Firm and did not know YEPES, who had
been fired two years earlier.
YEPES, 41, of Homestead, Florida, is charged with three
counts of wire fraud and one count of forgery. If convicted, he
faces a maximum prison term of 20 years on each of the wire fraud
counts, and a maximum prison term of 5 years on the forgery
count. On each of the four counts he faces a maximum fine of the
greater of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss
from the offense. YEPES is scheduled to appear in federal court
tomorrow morning in Miami, Florida.
Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative work of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and thanked the United States
Securities and Exchange Commission for its assistance in the
Assistant United States Attorney MARC P. BERGER is in
charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely
accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.