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April 19, 2010

PRESIDENT OF INTERCONTINENTAL COMMERCE INC. INDICTED FOR SECURITIES FRAUD

(McALLEN, Texas) – A 14-count indictment charging Albert “Andy” Anzaldua, of McAllen, with securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud for operating an allegedly fraudulent high-yield investment program was unsealed today following Anzaldua’s arrest, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with United States Secret Service (USSS) Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Pain and Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) Commissioner Denise Voigt Crawford. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on April 7, 2010.  

Anzaldua was arrested at his residence this morning by USSS special agents and made his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos, at which time Anzaldua was granted bond on the condition that he not engage in any securities or investment activities or sell certain financial assets in his control. Anzaldua will appear again in federal court on Thursday, April 22, at 11:00 a.m. for his arraignment.

According to the indictment, Anzaldua is the President of InterContinental Commerce Inc. (ICC), a purported investment firm with offices in McAllen and New York City. Beginning in May 2003, Anzaldua solicited and induced a number of individuals to invest in the European Asset Management Program (EAMP), a purported high-yield investment program which he operated through ICC. In doing so, Anzaldua allegedly made numerous false representations and omitted material facts concerning the EAMP and ICC. 

Among other allegedly false representations, Anzaldua is accused of telling prospective investors that the EAMP consisted of foreign currency trading, project development, money management and other investment activities involving international investment banks including Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale. The indictment further alleges that Anzaldua represented to prospective investors that the EAMP would result in returns of between two and three U.S. dollars for every dollar invested over a 40-week period. In addition, Anzaldua allegedly falsely represented that several well-known people were associated with the investment including a national political figure and a retired judge who, according to Anzaldua, was serving as a trustee for the investment. The indictment also alleges that Anzaldua purposefully omitted a host of material facts in his dealings with the prospective investors including that both Anzaldua and ICC were not registered with the TSSB to sell or provide advice regarding securities in violation of the Texas Securities Act. Similarly, Anzaldua is alleged to have omitted the fact that ICC had not been incorporated in any state for more than a decade or registered to transact business in the State of Texas.

According to the indictment, as a result of Anzaldua’s allegedly false representations and material omissions, a number of investors entered into limited partnership agreements with Anzaldua and ICC memorializing their participation in the EAMP. Over time, in accordance with the agreements, Anzaldua solicited and obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars from these investors to be invested in the EAMP. Unbeknownst to the investors, however, the indictment alleges that the EAMP did not exist and Anzaldua spent the vast majority of their money on personal expenses, benefitting both himself and his family, that did not have any relationship to the investment.

As years passed, Anzaldua is alleged to have calmed the investors’ concerns over not receiving investment returns by forwarding letters and e-mails that were written by an alleged Anzaldua associate in London, United Kingdom, who was purportedly assisting Anzaldua with EAMP matters in Europe. The “UK Associate,” as this person is referred to in the indictment, allegedly promised investors that investment returns were forthcoming and that the delays stemmed from a variety of issues including restrictions under the U.S. Patriot Act. Anzaldua also organized conference calls during which he and his UK Associate allegedly falsely reassured investors and offered excuses for the delays. Anzaldua and his UK Associate routinely provided these allegedly false assurances and representations, among others, to investors from 2005 through late 2009.

Conspiracy to commit securities fraud carries a maximum punishment of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Each of the 10 counts of alleged securities fraud carries a maximum punishment of five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine, while each of the three counts of wire fraud carries maximum penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. There is no parole in the federal system.

The ongoing investigation leading to the charges against Anzaldua is being conducted by the United States Secret Service and Texas State Securities Board. Anyone having information about  the European Asset Management Program operated through ICC is encouraged to contact the United States Secret Service at (956) 994-0151.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory S. Saikin is prosecuting the case for the government.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

 

 

 

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