California Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire
CONCORD - Jesse Hernandez, 58, of Los Angeles, California pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court to wire fraud, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in May of 2019, a Portsmouth- based marketing company (TH) was retained by a client for a marketing campaign to help introduce a new ice cream product in the San Francisco, California area. The events would include a specialty-branded truck that was wrapped in the product’s marketing art and contained multiple specifications for ease of service and proper storage of the ice cream. TH vetted three companies for the job of creating the truck. Hernandez represented a company called Mobie Experiential Trucks (Mobie). Hernandez appeared to be capable and less expensive than the next vendor. He provided a slide presentation to TH personnel and talked through it over the telephone. The images in the presentation were later determined to display products done by other companies and pictures taken from the internet by Hernandez to misrepresent his experience and work.
TH selected Hernandez and Mobie as the company to perform the work in mid-June of 2019 with a delivery date of July 9, 2019. Hernandez demanded full payment prior to delivery of the truck. TH sent a check in the amount of $36,941 on July 3, 2019. On July 8, 2019, TH personnel traveled to California to retrieve the truck. The defendant never delivered any truck and was unresponsive to inquiries from TH.
After federal investigators became involved in the case in the fall of 2019, they interviewed Hernandez. Hernandez stated that he received the check from TH, deposited the funds, and used them for purposes unrelated to the TH truck. He acknowledged that he was not going to deliver the truck.
Hernandez is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8, 2022. As part of his plea agreement, Hernandez agreed to pay restitution to TH in the amount of $46,615.29.
“Fraudsters can use a host of different methods to steal from their victims and we all must remain vigilant to protect ourselves from scammers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “This defendant’s fraud scheme used lies and misrepresentations to defraud a New Hampshire company out of thousands of dollars. Thanks to the hard work of the FBI, this schemer has been held responsible for his criminal conduct.”
“Jesse Hernandez defrauded a Portsmouth, NH marketing company out of tens of thousands of dollars by failing to deliver on his promises, while also misrepresenting his experience and work. Today, his lies finally caught up with him and he accepted responsibility for this fraudulent scheme,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Despite these challenging times we are all navigating, scammers are still doing everything they can to defraud people of their hard-earned money and we want everyone to know that the FBI is doing everything we can to make sure they don’t succeed.”
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Rombeau.
Updated December 1, 2021
Press Release Number: 21-208