Feb. 1, 2011
MCALLEN FREIGHT BROKER DETAINED WITHOUT BOND ON WIRE FRAUD AND BANKRUPTCY FRAUD CHARGES
Defendant’s alleged fraud schemes resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in loss to area truck brokerage businesses
(McALLEN, Texas) – Following a hearing today, United States Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby ordered that Alejandro “Alex” Mascorro Jr., 41, of McAllen, held in federal custody without bond pending trial on charges of wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with U.S. Secret Service (USSS) Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Carter.
Mascorro was indicted by a federal grand jury in McAllen on five counts of wire fraud and one count of bankruptcy fraud on Jan. 25, 2011. The following day, USSS special agents, whose investigative efforts led to the charges, arrested Mascorro at his residence and placed him into custody where he has remained without bond pending today’s hearing. After considering the factors relevant to bond, including the weight of the evidence and Mascorro’s history and characteristics, Judge Peter Ormsby denied bond to Mascorro -finding that to release him would, among other things, pose a danger to the community.
According to the indictment and the testimony presented by the United States at today’s hearing, Mascorro was employed by several truck brokerage companies operating in Hidalgo County over the last 10 years. In particular, from September 2004 through May 2009, Mascorro worked for an Alamo, Texas, business engaged in coordinating all aspects of the ground shipment of bulk goods for its customers. Mascorro was responsible for, among other things, providing Doria’s truck drivers with money to be used for incidental expenses throughout their trips. The company provided this money to its drivers through Comcheks, a money transfer system operated by Comdata Inc., of Brentwood, Tenn. The company’s truck drivers could cash Comcheks at any truck stop provided they filled them out with a valid express code. Comdata assigned express codes to Doria in $1,000 increments which, in turn, would be given by Mascorro to the drivers when they needed cash.
From January 2008 through May 2009, Mascorro allegedly used the company’s express codes without authorization to cash thousands of dollars worth of Comcheks. In addition, in some instances, Mascorro allegedly recruited several other individuals to cash Comcheks for him in exchange for cash kickbacks. These other individuals would use fictitious drivers license numbers and addresses to conceal the alleged fraud.
In addition, subsequent to his employment with the Alamo, Texas, company, Mascorro worked for a national truck brokerage company based in Lakeland, Fla., from May 2009 through March 2010. Mascorro was a freight broker in the company’s McAllen office. As a freight broker, Mascorro quoted shipment prices to customers, hired truck drivers to ship the customers’ goods at the company’s expense and collected payment from customers pursuant to invoices issued to them by the corporate accounting office. While working for this company, Mascorro allegedly formed a shell company named Ardilla Enterprises Inc. (AEI), which purported to be an independent truck brokerage company. Mascorro allegedly began to persuade unsuspecting customers of his employer company to disregard his employer’s invoices for shipments and, instead, to pay AEI for the shipments pursuant to an AEI invoice he created and provided to the customers.
During the course of the alleged scheme, Mascorro received hundreds of thousands of dollars from his employer’s customers by check or wire transfer, all of which was deposited into an AEI bank account controlled by Mascorro. Additionally, at the outset of the alleged scheme, Mascorro attempted to conceal his actions from his employer by using new money he collected from a customer through AEI to make a payment to his employer to satisfy another customer’s older balance thereby giving his employer the impression that his accounts were operating without problems.
In addition, according to information presented at today’s hearing, Mascorro is alleged to have committed bankruptcy fraud in connection with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition he filed in U.S. District Court in October 2009. During the course of the bankruptcy proceedings, Mascorro allegedly made fraudulent representations to the bankruptcy court regarding his adjusted gross income for the year 2008 and, additionally, failed to disclose AEI as a business in which he served as an officer or director.
Each count of wire fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine, upon conviction. The bankruptcy fraud count carries a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant United States Attorney Gregory S. Saikin is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
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