News and Press Releases

Food Exporter Employee Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced for Forging USDA Certificate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Samuel Santiago, Caribbean Area Manager, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Investigation and Enforcement Services (USDA-APHIS-IES), announced that Raquel Molina, 55, of Miami, pled guilty to the offense of Forging an Official Certificate, in violation of Title 7, United States Code, Section 1622(h)(4). Molina waived a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report and was simultaneously sentenced to a $500 fine.

According to the allegations of the charging instrument, Raquel Molina, an employee of a Miami, Florida food supply company, caused the export of a container of food to French Polynesia, Tahiti, which included ice cream, an animal product, milk. Merchandise containing animal products exported from the United States require the issuance and accompaniment of a Health Certificate issued by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Inspection Service.

On May 22, 2009, Molina faxed a fraudulent Health Certificate for the cartons of ice cream, bearing the forged signature of a U.S. Export/Import Veterinary Medical Officer, to French Polynesia, Tahiti. Later that same day, Molina fraudulently filled out and signed another form, again using a false signature, under the title of Dairy Grader, bearing the seal of the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Inspection Service.

Raquel Molina pled guilty and was immediately sentenced for her role on July 17, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the USDA-APHIS-IES. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman O. Hemming, III.

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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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