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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 21, 2018

Mexican Citizen Pleads Guilty in Federal Court in Rockford to Bank Fraud Scheme

ROCKFORD — A Mexican citizen pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard to bank fraud. 

JAVIER SANTOS SUAREZ, also known as Roberto Rios, Simon Estrada, Jorge Viveros, Francisco Alvarado, and Fernando Razo, 40, admitted to scheming with co-defendants from January 2003 through August 2003 to defraud and obtain money using counterfeit checks - payable to fictitious names - that the defendants cashed in Northern Illinois and other states.  

According to a written plea agreement, Suarez and his co-defendants used counterfeit checks that they cashed at banks near the businesses on which they were purportedly drawn.  The defendants used false personal identification documents, such as false Resident Alien Cards, when presented to the banks to cash.  Suarez admitted that he kept at least a portion of the cash he received from personally cashing counterfeit checks, and turned the balance of the cash over to other participants.  Suarez and his co-defendants cashed counterfeit checks totaling $721,617 at banks and businesses in Poplar Grove, Marengo, and Harvard, as well as in other states. 

Suarez was arrested in Wisconsin on the federal charges. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release of up to five years following imprisonment, and a fine of up to $1 million or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater.  The actual sentence will be determined by the U.S. District Court, guided by the Sentencing Guidelines.  Sentencing for Suarez is set for May 13, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. 

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffrey Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Also convicted of bank fraud in the case were:

ROGELIO RAMOS, 38, who pleaded guilty on Sept. 15, 2004, and was sentenced on Nov. 19, 2004, to 40 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Ramos was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $773,336.66.

LEONEL BELLO LEON, 41, who pleaded guilty on July 15, 2005, and was sentenced on Sept. 26, 2005, to 31 months in prison, to be followed by five years supervised release. Leon was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $718,778.56.

MISEAL SANGABRIEL ALARCON, 38, who pleaded guilty on Dec. 16, 2005, and was sentenced on March 24, 2005, to 32 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Alarcon was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $141,738.50.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated December 21, 2018