FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2014
CAMDEN, N.J. – A former bank officer was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for accepting bribes of more than $50,000 in return for his assistance in corrupt financial transactions as well as bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Jose Dominguez, 47, of Newark, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman to an information charging him with soliciting and accepting bribes in excess of $1,000 as a bank officer. He had also pleaded guilty to a separate indictment charging him with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Judge Hillman imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From January 1988 to February 2007, Dominguez was employed as a loan officer at Spencer Savings Bank in Elmwood Park, N.J. From September 2004 to November 2004, Dominguez and Victor Patela, 38, a former Newark Police officer, conspired to fraudulently obtain a $1.92 million commercial loan from Spencer Savings Bank so that they could purchase apartment buildings in Elizabeth, N.J. In connection with this scheme, Dominguez and Patela made false representations to Spencer Savings Bank relating to Patela’s assets in order to obtain the commercial loan. Dominguez also accepted bribe payments from Patela in exchange for using his influence as a loan officer to obtain the $1.92 million loan. In June 2012 Patela was convicted at trial of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, two counts of loan application fraud and bank bribery and sentenced in April 2013 to 48 months in prison.
In 2003, Dominguez was contacted by a bank customer who wanted to refinance some loans with Spencer Savings Bank and wanted to do so without paying significant prepayment penalty fees. Dominguez advised the customer that if the customer made corrupt payments to Dominguez, the customer could obtain a lower interest rate without paying a prepayment penalty to Spencer Savings Bank.
Between August 2003 and December 2003, Dominguez accepted $55,529.57 in corrupt payments from the customer to influence the requested loan modification. Dominguez also admitted to accepting additional bribes from other bank customers in the amounts of $4,500 and $5,000, respectively.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced Dominguez to three years of supervised release and fined him $4,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Thomas Young Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden