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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Four Individuals Charged with Bank Fraud and Identity Theft

Defendants Fraudulently Applied for Over $1.5 Million in Luxury Car Loans and Stole the Proceeds

A six-count indictment was unsealed earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Christian Hicks, Timel McRae, Stanley Valon and Roman Guevara with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to obtain funds from financial institutions by using victims’ personally identifiable information.  Defendant Roman Guevara will be arraigned later today at the United States Courthouse in San Jose, California.  Defendant Stanley Valon will be arraigned later today at the United States Courthouse in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  Defendants Christian Hicks and Timel McRae were previously arrested on a complaint, and their arraignment on the indictment will be scheduled later this month.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the charges.

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants used other people’s personally identifiable information, together with false information, to obtain loans by fraud and steal money from banks,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, is committed to protecting our financial system from those who use fraud to line their own pockets.”

“As alleged, the defendants falsely represented their financial standing at the expense of others in order to receive loans and credit offers they didn’t qualify for—plain and simple,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “This is not a crime to be taken lightly, and as our charges today prove, this type of dishonorable behavior will not go unpunished.”   

According to court filings, the defendants obtained other persons’ personally identifiable information, such as their dates of birth and social security numbers, by promising, among other things, to enter into joint vehicle ownership ventures with those persons or to improve their credit scores.  After securing this information, the defendants used it, as well as false employment and salary information contained in forged documents they generated, to apply for automobile loans, obtain credit cards and secure lines of credit in the other persons’ names.  The defendants used all of the funds provided by financial institutions as a result for their own purposes and not, as they had promised, to enter into joint vehicle ownership or improve anyone’s credit scores.  In the course of their fraudulent scheme, the defendants applied to financial institutions for automobile loans, lines of credit and credit cards with a value of more than $1.5 million.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant United States Attorney William P. Campos is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendants:

CHRISTIAN HICKS
Age:  41
Queens, New York

TIMEL MCRAE
Age:  41
Brooklyn, New York

STANLEY VALON
Age: 33
Hempstead, New York

ROMAN GUEVARA
Age:  48
Sunnyvale, California

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-0085 (MKB) (VMS)

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
John Marzulli Tyler Daniels United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated February 20, 2018