DEBRA W. YANG
United States Attorney
Central District of California
Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
January 13, 2005
RIVERSIDE MAN INDICTED FOR COERCING VICTIMS TO PAY FOR NON-EXISTENT TRAFFIC TICKETS
A Riverside man who allegedly sent bogus letters ostensibly from local Superior Courts has been indicted on federal mail fraud charges for operating a scheme in which he demanded that victims pay for non-existent speeding tickets or else face suspension of their driver's licenses.
Ronald Sangalang Fajardo, 29, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana on January 5. Fajardo, who is also known as Francis Ayala, is named in an arrest warrant issued by a United States Magistrate Judge, and federal authorities are currently searching for him.
Fajardo was indicted on five counts of mail fraud, each of which carries a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The indictment outlines a scheme in which Fajardo fabricated letters with official-looking letterhead to make them appear to be correspondence from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the Orange County Superior Court, the Los Angeles County Superior Court and other entities. The letters, which were sent to at least 50 people in Los Angeles and Orange counties, informed the recipients that they had been issued speeding tickets via an "accurate speed velocity monitor" and demanded payments of amounts varying from $175 to $495. The letters, which demanded payment via money order or cashier's check, contained return envelopes that were addressed to a "Process Center" in Colton. According to the indictment, the "Process Center" was nothing more than a postal mail box that Fajardo had rented.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Victims who may have received bogus letters demanding money for traffic tickets are invited to call Postal Inspector Shari Delaney at (562) 983-8319.
This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, which received substantial assistance from the Colton Police Department.
Release No. 05-007
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