LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta, Uni…

LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field office, announced today that, after a six-month trial, a Miami jury has found defendants Eduardo Orlansky, Hector Orlansky, R. Peter Stanham, and Ariadna Puerto guilty of conspiring to carry out a $170 million bank fraud scheme.

Eduardo Orlansky, Hector Orlansky, R. Peter Stanham were directors of E.S. Bankest, LLC. They were convicted of multiple counts of bank fraud and conspiracy. Eduardo and Hector Orlansky were also convicted of wire fraud and Hector Orlansky was individually convicted of making false statements to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Ariadna Puerto, an officer of E.S. Bankest, LLC, was convicted of conspiracy, bank fraud, and wire fraud. In addition all defendants were convicted of money laundering.

According to the evidence presented at trial, the defendants conspired to fraudulently inflate, by hundreds of millions of dollars, the value of collateral used to obtain loans through Espirito Santo Bank of Florida. The defendants worked for E.S. Bankest, LLC, a company in the business of “factoring.” Factoring involves the purchase of accounts receivable from client companies at a discount. Espirito Santo Bank was a joint venture partner in E.S. Bankest, LLC, and was responsible for arranging funding for E.S. Bankest, LLC’s factoring operations. The accounts receivable E.S. Bankest, LLC, supposedly purchased were to serve as the collateral for the funding arranged by Espirito Santo Bank and provided by Espirito Santo Bank customers.

According to the evidence, over the nine-year period from June 1994 through August 2003, the defendants’ conspiracy deceived Espirito Santo Bank and investors by falsifying financial statements, creating fictitious invoices and checks, using fictitious companies, and engaging in other machinations to create the appearance that millions of dollars in fictitious accounts receivable were actually real. Through these tactics, defendants deceived Espirito Santo Bank, federal banking regulators, and independent public accounting firms that examined E.S. Bankest, LLC, about the value of the accounts receivable owned, all to support additional loans through the bank. As a result of their schemes, the conspirators fraudulently obtained approximately $170 million in loan proceeds.

United States Attorney Acosta stated: “Bank and investment fraud is not just a paper crime. Real people lose money; employees lose jobs; investors lose savings; and the financial markets lose confidence in the integrity of our banking system. Over the past weeks, the United States Attorney’s Office has announced multiple bank and investment fraud verdicts. We are very gratified by today’s verdict in this case and we will continue our efforts to prosecute white collar crime as vigorously as we prosecute more violent crimes.”

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Caroline Heck Miller, Matthew Menchel, and Ryan Stumphauzer.

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/.

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