Former Executive of Miami-Based Ocean Bank Pleads Guilty to Participating in Bribery Scheme and to Filing False Tax Returns
WASHINGTON – A former executive of Miami-based Ocean Bank pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Miami to participating in a scheme to accept bribes and to failing to report the income on federal income tax returns, the Department of Justice announced.
Danilo P. Perez, a former vice president of Ocean Bank, pleaded guilty today to felony charges filed on Jan. 18, 2012, in U.S. District Court in Miami. The charges against Perez stem from his accepting nearly $500,000 in cash and other items from unnamed co-conspirators in connection with his supervision of certain unnamed customer business with the bank.
According to court documents, as vice president, Perez generally oversaw Ocean Bank’s lending relationships with corporate customers of the bank. The department said that beginning in or about February 2001 and continuing thereafter through on or about April 25, 2007, Perez accepted bribes, including payments for expensive watches, Super Bowl Tickets and other items for his personal use, as well as substantial amounts of cash. Perez accepted the payments intending to be rewarded and influenced in connection with his role in approving Ocean Bank’s issuance of letters of credit, loans and overdraft privileges to his co-conspirators. The court documents also show that he failed to report income from the bribes for the tax years 2005, 2006 and 2007, resulting in lost tax revenue of approximately $91,000 to the federal government.
Perez was charged with one count of conspiracy to solicit or demand money and other things of value to influence an employee of a financial institution and three counts of tax offenses. The conspiracy count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 criminal fine. The tax charges each carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and $250,000 fine. The maximum fine for each count may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine.
The investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Atlanta Field Office and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation in Atlanta and Miami, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. Anyone with information concerning anticompetitive conduct in the banking industry is urged to call the Antitrust Division’s Atlanta Field Office at 404-331-7100 or visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm.