Florida Businessman Pleads Guilty to Fraud Conspiracy
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Florida businessman pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for orchestrating a scheme that caused over $1 million in losses to multiple victims.
According to court documents, Armando Almirall, 37, of Oviedo, was one of the managing principals of a company called Aura Exchange LLC (AURA). Almirall and his co-conspirators, through AURA, promised their clients that they could help obtain funding for a host of business purposes, such as real estate transactions and television projects. Instead, Almirall and his co-conspirators spent large portions of their clients’ funds on personal expenses, cash withdrawals and wire transfers with the clients’ knowledge or consent. In order to induce the victims to provide AURA with money, Almirall and his co-conspirators made a host of fraudulent misrepresentations, including representing to clients that they were guaranteed to receive their initial equity deposits back when, in fact, none of the victims ever received any money from AURA. Almirall claimed that AURA had offices in Zurich, London, and New York when no such offices existed. Almirall also provided clients with fraudulent bank documents showing that AURA could obtain millions (and in one instance, billions) in funds for their clients. In total, the victims suffered losses of at least $1.6 million.
Almirall pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 8, 2019. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamar K. Walker is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-392.