LAWFUEL – Legal News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United…

LAWFUEL – Legal News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, announced that defendant Pedro B. Gonzalez, of Miami, was sentenced today to sixty-six months in prison and three years of supervised release in connection with an advance fee scheme he operated from 1999-2003. Gonzalez was also ordered to pay $116,300 in restitution, a $250,000 fine, and a $1,000 special assessment by U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno.

Gonzalez was convicted of five counts of mail fraud and five counts of wire fraud after a six- day trial in July. The evidence at the trial showed that Gonzalez was the owner and President of Nations Capital Credit Corporation and Excel Investment Group Corporation. Both Nations and Excel purportedly engaged in the business of obtaining equipment financing. Gonzalez solicited small businesses and individuals throughout the United States, promoting Nations and Excel as a source for financing, and offering to obtain financing to purchase or lease equipment on favorable terms. Gonzalez required the businesses and individuals to pay advance fees ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 as a condition for obtaining their financing. Gonzalez promised to return these fees if he could not arrange for financing. Gonzalez never obtained the promised financing and kept the advance fees.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Gurwitz and Assistant United States Attorney Rosa Rodriguez-Mera.

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 http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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