News and Press Releases

Accountant From Jal, N.M., Sentenced to Sixty-One Months
in Federal Prison for Fraud and Identity Theft Conviction

Baeza Also Ordered to Pay
$501,927.10 in Restitution to Former Employers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Roger L. Baeza, 32, of Jal, N.M., was sentenced earlier today to sixty-one months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on securities fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft charges.  Baeza also was ordered to pay $501,927.10 in restitution to the victims of his crimes.

Baeza’s sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and New Mexico State Police Chief Pete N. Kassetas. 

In Oct. 2012, Baeza was charged in an 81-count indictment which alleged 78 counts of securities fraud, one count of access device fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.  According to the indictment, Baeza defrauded two Jal-based businesses, Lea Energy Services, LLC, and Fulfer Oil & Cattle Company, LCC, of more than $500,000 between June 2010 and Feb. 2012, while he was employed as the in-house accountant by the owners of the two businesses. 

In June 2013, Baeza pled guilty to all but one count of the indictment, an aggravated identity theft charge.  In his plea agreement, Baeza admitted from June 2010 to Feb. 2012, he embezzled approximately $311,960.08 from his employers’ companies by issuing checks on company accounts for cash or for goods and services for his personal use.  Baeza also admitted that he covered up his fraudulent conduct by modifying the companies’ accounting records to indicate that the checks had been issued for legitimate purposes. 

Baeza also admitted that from June 2010 to Feb. 2012, he used a company credit card issued in the names of his employers to receive payments and items of value in the aggregate amount of $189,267.02.  Finally, Baeza admitted using his employer’s name and identity in Feb. 2011, to issue and sign a check on a company account in the amount of $5000.00 and using the money for his personal use.

This case was investigated by the Roswell office of the FBI and the New Mexico State Police, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns.

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