Houston Man Convicted in Second Wire Fraud Scheme
|Dec. 13, 2012|
HOUSTON - Houstonian Nathaniel Chilo, aka Nathaniel O’Neil, 23, already convicted in a separate debt relief scam, has entered a plea of guilty to wire fraud for a similar scheme, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Chilo operated debt relief businesses in the Houston area under several different names including, but not limited to, Universal Restoration and C & N Recovery. According to the plea agreement, he fraudulently represented that settlements has been arranged for an individual in Georgia, but then used that money for their own benefit.
Chilo was first indicted in a separate scheme perpetrated by him and his father, Jeffery Wayne O’Neil. Chilo was arrested in late August 2011 and released on Sept. 14, 2011, pending further criminal proceedings. Among his conditions of release were that he not commit any other criminal offenses nor have a job in credit repair, credit counseling, credit accounts, credit history and credit restoration.
On or about Sept. 16, 2011, Chilo fraudulently sent a letter to an individual in Georgia that falsely representing a settlement had been reached in the amount of $32,541.56 with one of the person’s creditors. As a result, the individual’s wife then wired monies to cover the settlement. However, Chilo never paid the creditor.
A second email was sent the next month which indicated a settlement on another account in the amount of $35,409.18. That settlement was also fraudulent, but thinking it was a legitimate, the victim again wired the monies.
Chilo never arranged the settlements and never paid the creditors, but used the monies for his own benefit. Today, he admitted he fraudulently received $67,950.74.
U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal, who accepted the guilty plea today, also entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $40,894.47.
Also charged in the case is Savannah Rae Williams, 24, also of Houston. Her case is pending and she is innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
Chilo faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine at his sentencing hearing, set for March 12, 2013. Chilo will face the same sentence for the other wire fraud conviction in the other case. He will be sentenced in that case on March 29, 2013, along with his father.
Chilo will remain in custody pending his sentencing hearing.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Braddock.