Citrus County Man Pleads Guilty To Receiving Stolen Benefit Payments From The Department Of Veterans Affairs
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Mrugesh G. Patel (38, Edgewater) today pleaded guilty to bank fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
According to the plea agreement, beginning in February 2011 and continuing until December 2012, Patel participated in a scheme to defraud federally insured banks, including TD Bank and Centerstate Bank. Specifically, he opened numerous bank accounts under the names of various Florida-based companies that he had established. Patel then used these bank accounts to make bulk deposits of fraudulent bank drafts made payable to his companies. The bank drafts were made using the unauthorized account information of other individuals, businesses, and entities. Patel also made false representations to bank representatives when he opened the accounts and during the time period that he was making the deposits.
Patel’s fraud scheme caused over $1,352,956 in losses to those whose account information was used to create the fraudulent bank drafts. He used some of this money for personal expenditures and to pay third parties. During the investigation of Patel’s scheme, law enforcement seized over $400,000 in illegal proceeds from bank accounts that Patel controlled.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew C. Searle and Nicole Andrejko.