Three Charged with Wire Fraud in Investment Scheme
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Alysa Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, announce the arrests of defendants Anibangel Molina, 42, of New York, New York, Antonino Castro, 65, of Hialeah, Florida, and Betsy Aguiar Molina, 41, of Miami Lakes, Florida. Anibangel Molina and Antonino Castro made their initial appearances in federal court on May 6, 2013 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes. Anibangel Molina and Antonino Castro were released on bonds. Betsy Aguiar Molina had her initial appearance in federal court today and a bond hearing is scheduled before the duty magistrate court judge on May 13, 2013.
The criminal complaint, which was unsealed upon the defendants’ arrest on May 6, 2013, charges Anibangel Molina, Antonino Castro, and Betsy Aguiar Molina with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. If convicted, the defendants face a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
According to the complaint, Bancard Financial Services, located in Miami, purportedly offered investment opportunities since at least 2009 through trading in precious metals, oil, and foreign exchange currency and high interest checking accounts. Anibangel Molina was the President, Betsy Aguiar Molina was the Operations Manager, and Antonino Castro was the Officer Manager of Bancard Financial Services. The complaint alleges that the defendants made false representations, failed to pay dividends to investors since at least October 2012, and allocated investor money for their personal expenses instead of purchasing the commodities or paying the interest that was promised to investors. For example, in December 2011, Anibangel Molina wrote a check from Bancard’s bank account to purchase a $59,741 2012 Range Rover Evoque as a gift for Betsy Molina.
According to the complaint, the defendants executed the scheme by soliciting investors through television commercials that advertised classes in foreign exchange currency trading in Miami. After people attended these seminars, the defendants offered to invest customers’ money in foreign currency markets, commodities, or high interest checking accounts. From November 1, 2011 through November 2012, Anibangel and Betsy Molina received at least $4 million from more than 50 individual investors. None of the defendants or Bancard Financial Services are registered or licensed to trade in commodities, securities, currency, or as a broker of these articles.
In particular, the complaint alleges that Anibangel and Betsy Molina made false representations to investors by presenting some customers with a fraudulent Certificate of Bond Coverage that falsely claimed that “Lloyds Bank of London” indemnifies Bancard Financial Services LLC against any loss to any client up to $2,200,000. The complaint also alleges that Betsy Molina falsely told at least one customer that President Obama had created a law to guarantee investments. According to the complaint, numerous investors have contacted Anibangel Molina and Antonino Castro seeking to close out their investment accounts but these defendants have not returned their money.
If anyone has information about this fraud or has been a victim of the fraud, please call the toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or complete an online tip form at http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp.
Mr. Ferrer commended the efforts of HSI in the investigation and prosecution of this case. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Thakur.
A complaint is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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.