Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida;
Brian Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service; and Michael P.
Driscoll, Special Agent Supervisor, Florida Department of Law Enforcement,
announced today that defendant, Roberto Rego, Jr., was sentenced on January 12,
2005, by United States District Court Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, in Miami,
Florida, to a term of ninety-six (96) months’ imprisonment and three (3) years’
supervised release for his role in a multi-million dollar bankruptcy and tax fraud
scheme. Rego, a former Miami-Dade police officer, previously pleaded guilty to one
(1) count of bankruptcy fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code,
Section 152(1), and one (1) count of tax evasion, in violation of Title 26, United
States Code, Section 7201. A hearing to determine the amount of restitution is set
before Judge Middlebrooks for April 5, 2005.
Rego’s co-defendant, Ester M. Brandon, previously pleaded guilty to one (1) count
of income tax evasion, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7201.
On September 7, 2004, Judge Middlebrooks sentenced her to three (3) years’
probation based upon her cooperation against co-defendant Rego.
In accordance with statements made in court, Rego was a principal of a Palm Beach
County waste hauling company named Cabrera and Rego Enterprises, Inc. (“CRE”), and
of E.M. Brandon, Inc. (“EMB”), a waste grinding company held in the name of
co-defendant Brandon. In September 1998, Rego directed both companies to file for
bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Throughout the bankruptcies,
Rego concealed approximately $2,283,197 in assets and income of the two (2)
companies from the Bankruptcy Court, the United States Trustee, and creditors.
Approximately $250,000 of the concealed money was stolen through CRE through Rego’s
submission of false invoices to various victim companies, and another $378,000
through the submission of false invoices through EMB.
As part of his scheme, Rego submitted false monthly operating reports to the
Bankruptcy Court, signed under penalties of perjury. In addition to failing to
report the more than $2 million diverted from the two companies, these monthly
operating reports also falsely reported expense items as going to various
legitimate vendors when in fact money was simply being paid out to Rego.
Rego also filed a false 1999 federal income tax return on which he failed to report
more than $1 million he received directly from the diverted bankruptcy funds, and
on which there was a tax due and owing of approximately $405,732.50.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Internal Revenue Service and
the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John S. Kastrenakes and Carolyn Bell.