Department of Justice Logo and United States Attorney's Office Header
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Sept. 12, 2012

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Edinburg Woman Sentenced for Mail Fraud

McALLEN, Texas - An Edinburg, Texas, resident has been sentenced to 33 months in federal custody in connection with a mail fraud scheme she developed in the McAllen area, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. San Juana Aidee Lopez, 60, pleaded guilty June 29, 2102, to two counts of mail fraud in connection with her employment as an insurance agent.

At the time of her guilty plea, she admitted that she created a scheme to defraud victims when she approached them about purchasing insurance with for health care policies and for funeral and burial insurance policies. She was paid commissions immediately based on the number of new policies she sold.

The scheme was elaborate with many facets, but the most common thread was that she took personal identification information from existing policyholders and signed them up for certain policies they did not authorize. Since she was paid immediately for all new policies she sold, it was to her benefit to create as many new policy sales as she could. She created bogus and fraudulent policies without the knowledge of the person whose name she used. She also placed payment for the policies on automatic electronic bank draft by using the accounts of other policyholders who already had an existing policy. When the unsuspecting victim whose bank account was drafted called to complain, she told them it was an administrative error. This helped Lopez to accomplish and further the scheme because as long as two successive payments were made on the new policy, any adjustments for refunds were not taken from her commissions but were paid from a reserve account. This scheme resulted in harm to more than 20 victims who suffered an aggregate loss of more than $49,000.
                       
The investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the United States Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Cedric L. Joubert is prosecuting the case.