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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 8, 2019

Florida Businessman Sentenced to Prison for Fraud Conspiracy

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Florida man was sentenced today to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud for orchestrating a scheme that caused over $1.7 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 without 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 AURA had an established business portfolio when no such portfolio existed. AURA also guaranteed victims that they would receive their initial equity deposits back when, in fact, none of the victims ever received any of their original investment nor any additional funding from AURA. Almirall further 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 addition to the prison sentence, Almirall was ordered to pay over $1.77 million in restitution to the victims of the fraud scheme.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamar K. Walker prosecuted 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.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated February 8, 2019