Texas Attorney Indicted On Wire Fraud And Theft Charges

Rogelio Ibanez Jr., an attorney and former bank chairman, has been indicted for allegedly defrauding clients of his law firm as well as customers and employees of a title company he owned.

Ibanez, a Texas attorney, was charged with wire fraud and theft in an 11-count indictment returned by a Houston grand jury last month.  Ibanez has since surrendered himself to federal authorities in McAllen, Texas, and made his initial appearance. At this time, Ibanez it has not yet been determine if he  will be detained pending trial or released on bond.

The indictment alleges that, Ibanez was an owner of Bank of South Texas, as well as Southern Star Title Company L.L.C. In addition, Ibanez ran a law practice in McAllen where he held real estate closings. According to the indictment, Ibanez directed employees of his law firm to transfer $550,000 from Southern Star Title’s escrow accounts in 2008. This was without the knowledge of the title company employees. In addition, Ibanez is accused of stealing smaller sums of money from the title company’s 401(k) plan. The indictment goes on to accuse Ibanez of also taking money from his law firm’s bank accounts without informing the individuals who the money belonged to and using it for a variety on illegitimate purposes, including for the benefit of his own personal business interests.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, makes it a crime for anyone to use interstate wire communications facilities in carrying out a scheme to defraud. In order for the government to prove that wire fraud took place, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly created a scheme to defraud, that the defendant acted with an specific intent to defraud, that the defendant used interstate wire communications facilities for the purpose of carrying out the scheme, and that the scheme to defraud employed false material representations.

The six counts of wire fraud each carry a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years and a fine of not more than $250,000. The five theft counts each carry a maximum statutory penalty of five years and a fine of not more than $250,000.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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