Redwood City Resident Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Produce Vendors Of Millions Of Dollars Worth Of Fruits And Vegetables
SAN JOSE – Remon Issa Daniel pleaded guilty in federal court late yesterday to three counts of wire fraud for his scheme to defraud produce vendors, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The plea follows charges Daniel pretended to be employed by reputable produce companies and ordered loads of fruits and vegetables on credit, when he knew he did not have the funds to pay for the loads and had no intention of paying for them.
In pleading guilty, Daniel admitted that between 2014 and his arrest on February 25, 2016, he defrauded at least 38 different businesses of more than $1.5 million worth of fruits and vegetables. Daniel ordered produce primarily from companies in California, Arizona, and Texas, and usually claimed to be from Bay Produce, New San Jose Wholesale, or General Produce, each a genuine produce wholesaler in Northern California. In fact, Daniel had no association with any of these companies. Daniel admitted to sending some of the vendors a copy of a deposit slip as proof that he had made a payment for the product. Only after the vendor released the produce to Daniel did the vendor learn that the deposited check was returned for insufficient funds.
Daniel was indicted by a grand jury on March 10, 2016, on 14 counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. Pursuant to yesterday’s plea, Daniel has admitted he is guilty of three of the counts in the indictment and the remaining counts will be dismissed. He is currently being held in in the Santa Clara County Main Jail, pending sentencing, which is set for October 19, 2016, at 9:45 a.m., before the Honorable United States District Judge Lucy Koh. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, is 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amber Rosen is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Susan Kreider, Yolanda Singletary, and Nina Williams. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.