Former Loan Officer Sergio Martinez Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury with Bank Fraud, False Statement to Influence a Financial Institution, Wire Fraud, and Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud in an Alleged Mortgage Fraud Scheme

May 8, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 7, 2012 released the following:

“Former Loan Officer and Resident of Tucson Indicted for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

TUCSON— Last week, a five-count indictment was unsealed. The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on March 29, 2012, charges former loan officer Sergio Martinez, 35, of Tucson, with bank fraud, false statement to influence a financial institution, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Martinez was arrested on the indictment last month in Buffalo, New York.

The indictment alleges that Martinez participated in a scheme to defraud a financial institution in order to obtain financing. Although Martinez was not the listed loan applicant, he allegedly caused to be submitted a loan application that contained material false statements including: (1) a false representation that the loan applicant was self-employed; (2) a falsely inflated income; and (3) a false representation that no part of the down payment was borrowed. The indictment further alleges that another document submitted to the lender falsely represented that the borrower would provide $359,982.38 in cash to close the deal when, in fact, the borrower and Martinez received a separate loan that was used to provide most of that cash. These documents were allegedly provided to obtain $1.4 million in loans to purchase a $1.75 million home. After the financing was used to purchase the property, the home went into foreclosure due to lack of payments. The foreclosure resulted in a significant loss to the lender.

An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

A conviction for bank fraud, false statement to influence a financial institution, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud each carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, or both. In determining the actual sentence, Judge Collins will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. Judge Collins, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Internal Revenue Servic-Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson.”

US v Sergio Martinez – Federal Criminal Indictment

18 U.S.C. § 1014

18 U.S.C. § 1343

18 U.S.C. § 1344

18 U.S.C. § 1349

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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


Louisiana Police Chief Indicted for Allegedly Making False Statements to Feds

November 4, 2010

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Ronald G. “Tapper” Hendricks, chief of police of Vidalia, La., was charged with making false statements to federal law enforcement agents in the course of an investigation into the use and disposition of certain firearms at the Vidalia Police Department. The charge is outlined in a bill of information filed today with the United States District Court in Alexandria, La.

The bill of information alleges that earlier this year FBI and ATF agents were investigating Hendricks for possible violations of federal firearms laws; specifically, whether Hendricks had transferred a fully-automatic machine gun owned by the Vidalia Police Department to the custody of an individual or individuals for non-law enforcement use at the Rifle Point Hunting Club, a private hunting club in Ferriday, La. The federal agents were also investigating whether Hendricks had allegedly removed certain firearms from the custody of the Vidalia Police Department Evidence Room and subsequently gave those firearms to friends and acquaintances as gifts.

As part of the investigation, federal agents interviewed Hendricks last February. The bill of information alleges that Hendricks knowingly and willfully made three material false statements during the interview: 1) Hendricks denied transferring a fully automatic machine gun owned by the Vidalia Police Department to the custody of an individual or individuals at the Rifle Point Hunting Club, when in truth and in fact he had done so for use by members and guests of the club; 2) Hendricks falsely claimed that one of the individuals to whom custody of the machine gun was transferred was a Reserve Police Officer of the Vidalia Police Department whom he had sworn in at an unofficial ceremony to which there were no witnesses, when in truth and in fact there was no such ceremony and the individual is not a Reserve Police Officer; and 3) Hendricks falsely claimed that the individual described above signed an oath of office form related to the alleged swearing in prior to receiving the machine gun, when in truth and in fact the individual had never signed such an oath of office form.

Making false statements to government agents is a federal crime. However, in most cases, the government already has the answers to the questions they present to an individual when questioning occurs. That way, if the individual happens to answer incorrectly, the government is legally permitted to prosecute for making false statements. It is a trick used by the government to trap an individual into incriminating themselves.

If federal agents are attempting to question you or someone you know in regards to alleged criminal activity, seek independent legal counsel immediately. It is the only way to ensure and protect your rights.

False statements to a government agent is a felony offense and carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

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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