Lawfuel.com – US Legal news – Law Jobs – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Division, and Melody Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced today that defendants Jorge Luis Mocega, Juan Carlos Mocega, and Sergio A. Baltodano, residents of Miami-Dade County, Florida have been indicted on March 6, 2007, in connection with federal criminal charges alleging conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud (Count 1 of the Indictment), financial institution fraud (Count 2) and conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with identity information (Count 3).
According to the Indictment, which was returned in Miami as Case No. 07-20137-CR-SEITZ, all three defendants conspired to fraudulently obtain funds through fraudulent withdrawals from various business checking accounts at Washington Mutual Bank, totaling in excess of one million dollars. As further alleged in the Indictment, the defendants targeted a number of bank accounts at Washington Mutual, most of which had, by this point, been frozen by Washington Mutual due to suspected involvement with health care fraud, and all of which were believed by the defendants to contain the proceeds of fraudulently induced federal health care program payments. Through their fraudulent activities, the Indictment alleges that the defendants actually obtained approximately $764,000.00.
As further alleged in the Indictment, Sergio Baltodano, who was employed as a “Personal Financial Representative” at Washington Mutual’s “Royal Oaks Branch” at 15424 NW 77th Court, Miami Lakes, Florida abused his position by submitting false documents and forging signatures for the alleged purpose of withdrawing the funds from each such targeted account. Thereafter, Baltodano is alleged to have fraudulently induced Washington Mutual to issue cashier’s checks, which were funded by these same withdrawn funds, and payable to various business names which had previously been supplied to Baltodan by Jorge Luis Mocega and Juan Carlos Mocega. Once Jorge and Juan Mocega received the fraudulently obtained cashier’s checks from Baltodano, the Indictment further alleges that the Mocegas cashed the checks at other locations and returned a portion of the funds to Baltodano. The Indictment further alleges that Jorge and Juan Mocega also supplied a counterfeit Florida driver’s license to Baltodano to assist in committing this fraud, and that the license contained the identity information of an individual who was believed by them to be an authorized signer upon one of the accounts which had been targeted for fraudulent disbursement.
Counts One and Two of the Indictment, which allege conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud, and financial institution fraud, respectively, carry maximum penalties each of thirty years imprisonment. Count Three of the Indictment, which charges fraud in connection with identity information and documents, carries a possible maximum penalty of fifteen years imprisonment.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General – Department of Health and Human Services who conducted this investigation, as well as expressing special thanks to Washington Mutual and the investigators working in its Enterprise Fraud investigative division, who first discovered and identified the scheme, and who subsequently worked in cooperation with the F.B.I. and H.H.S. – O.I.G. in further investigating the matter. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter B. Outerbridge.
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 http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov/.