Florida Man Returned To U.S. To Face Fraud Charges
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Martin Slone (59, Oldsmar) with four counts of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count.
According to the indictment, Slone defrauded a Miami-area lender and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The sealed indictment was returned by a grand jury on July 11, 2013, and an arrest warrant was issued. At the time, Slone was residing in Brazil. On June 28, 2015, he was arrested at Abu Dhabi International Airport by authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), based on an INTERPOL Red Notice. On August 13, 2015, special agents of the Ex-Im Bank – Officer of Inspector General (OIG) took custody of Slone and returned him to the United States to face charges.
According to the indictment, Slone owned and operated an aircraft brokerage and export business in Florida called Woolie Enterprises Inc. In September 2007, he sought and received an insurance policy from Ex-Im Bank to insure aircraft sales from Woolie to purported buyers in Brazil. Slone allegedly submitted false information regarding Woolie’s export activity to the lending bank and Ex-Im Bank. The indictment also alleges that Slone created fake invoices and documents falsely claiming that foreign buyers had purchased aircraft and parts from Woolie, and then falsely reported that those foreign buyers had defaulted on payments, causing Ex-Im Bank to pay Woolie approximately $197,690.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
“This case is a good example of the OIG working with our embassy officials and foreign counterparts to pursue fraud across borders,” said Deputy Inspector General Michael McCarthy. “The Export-Import Bank will diligently pursue fraud cases against subjects who are located abroad.”
The case was investigated by the Ex-Im Bank – OIG, with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, INTERPOL, and law enforcement agencies of the UAE. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Scruggs.