News and Press Releases

MIAMI RESIDENT SENTENCED ON MORTGAGE FRAUD CHARGES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami Field Office, announced today’s sentencing of defendants Herman Rafael Solorzano Caguaripano, 58, and his son, Herman Alejandro Solorzano Rincon, 32, both of Doral, FL, on charges of conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds using the Venezuelan Black Market.

U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard sentenced Herman Rafael Solorzano Caguaripano to 168 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Herman Alejandro Solorzano Rincon was sentenced to 63 months in prison, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release.

Trial for the other 14 defendants is scheduled for January 3, 2011 before Judge Lenard. The defendants include Georges Toutounji, 50, Fortunato Farache, 55, Douglas Enrique Sanchez Soto, 60, Edgar Hadad Azraca, 48, and Alba Villalobos Vergel, 61, all of Doral, FL, Alfredo Ramon Soto Diaz, 42, Miguel Jose Perez Rivero, 32, Luis Enrique Homez Garcia, 36, and Henry Eduardo Bilbao Movilla, 61, all of Miami, FL, Rafael Polanco, 38, of Hollywood, FL, Antoine Jean Melhem, 51, of Coral Gables, FL, Johan Alberto Rincon Medina, 58, of Pembroke Pines, FL, Nercido Sosa Medina, 58 of New York, and Luis Rafael Diaz Plaza, 41, of Puerto Rico.

In September 2008, ICE special agents assigned to ICE HSI Financial Investigations Group in Miami initiated an investigation into financial transactions involving the proceeds of narcotics trafficking. According to the indictment and previously filed complaints, the defendants would receive contracts to pick-up narcotics proceeds in Puerto Rico and New York and then smuggle the money to South Florida. Once the currency was picked-up in Puerto Rico or New York, it was secured in hotel room safes and in locked bags kept in the hotel room. Members of the conspiracy would then secretly transport the currency, usually in $100,000 increments, via commercial air, to South Florida. The money would be divided into smaller amounts to avoid the possible seizure of all the currency if detected by law enforcement. Once in Miami, the money was either deposited in various bank accounts in the names of nominees or delivered to individuals in South Florida.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Miami with the assistance of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in San Juan and New York, Office of the ICE Attaché Caribbean, the Miami Dade Police Department, the Broward County Money Laundering Task Force, the Florida City Police Department, City of Indian Creek Police Department, the Doral Police Department, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department Forensic Imaging Bureau. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Gonzalez.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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