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Press Release

Chicago man, woman charged in fraud scheme targeting North Pole business

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – A federal grand jury in Alaska returned an indictment charging a Chicago man and woman with allegedly running a scheme to defraud a North Pole restaurant of over $128,000.

According to court documents, from July to August 2022, Jacob Centeno, 39, and Amber Davila, 35, allegedly illegally obtained banking and identification information for the restaurant and restaurant owner by gaining access to their email. The defendants used this information and access to misrepresent themselves as the owner and divert proceeds from the owner’s bank account to a different account registered under a false identity that the defendants created and had access to.

In total, roughly $128,246 was diverted to the defendants’ fraudulent bank account between Aug. 4 and Aug. 9, 2022.

As part of the scheme, Centeno and Davila allegedly purchased over $41,000 worth of money orders from the fraudulent bank account over the course of multiple days in Chicago. They then deposited the money orders into their various personal and business accounts in aggregate amounts of less than $10,000. Finally, to further conceal their scheme, they withdrew money from a business account registered in their names and deposited it into their personal accounts.

Centeno and Davila were arrested in Chicago on June 4 and are charged with one count of aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1028A(a)(1), one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1349, five counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1343, one count conspiracy to commit money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1956(h), 18 U.S.C. §1956(a)(1)(B)(i), and eight counts of money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1956(a)(1)(B)(i). The defendants will make their initial court appearance on a later date. If convicted, they face a mandatory minimum of two years for aggravated identity theft, which is served consecutive to any other sentence for their alleged crimes. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska and Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Day of the FBI Anchorage Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Anchorage Field Office, FBI Fairbanks Resident Agency, FBI Chicago Field Office and North Pole Police Department are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carly Vosacek and Michael Heyman are prosecuting the case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois provided significant legal support in this case.

If you or someone you know might be a victim of fraud or other crime, you can report it to the FBI at or through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


UPDATE: This release has been updated to no longer state that the indictment came back "today" and correct the year in paragraph three from "2024" to "2022" in the text. 


Reagan Zimmerman

Public Affairs Officer

Updated June 11, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-46