International Fugitive Wanted for Embezzling Approximately $10 Million Arrested by the FBI in Miami
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire
CONCORD – A Guatemalan man has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) following an international manhunt, announces U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Boston Division.
Roberto Montano, a/k/a Jorge Roberto Montano Midence, a/k/a Roberto Pellegrini, a/k/a Alberto Yardi, 57, was arrested yesterday at the Miami International Airport. He will make an initial appearance in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida at a later time.
Montano was charged with wire fraud by complaint in 2015 and indictment in 2021 by the District of New Hampshire. According to the charging documents, Montano is a citizen of Guatemala who managed two forestry projects in Guatemala for a New Hampshire-based investment adviser between 2007 and 2014. Beginning in approximately late 2009, Montano’s management company, Green Millennium, embezzled the projects' funds by (1) diverting cash and concealing the diversions using altered bank and financial statements; (2) mortgaging the Projects' properties without authorization and investing the proceeds in business ventures; and (3) stealing teak forestry subsidies paid by the Guatemalan government. Authorities believe the total loss of this fraud may be approximately $10 million.
After Montano was alerted to an investigation into the fraud in 2014, he fled the United States for Guatemala. Eventually, he moved to Nicaragua, where he has been living for several years under an alias. Since 2014, the FBI has been actively engaged in efforts to locate and arrest Montano and his wanted poster has now been updated to reflect his capture: https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wcc/jorge-roberto-montano-pellegrini/download.pdf. Montano is also wanted in Guatemala for an alleged embezzlement scheme.
The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount stolen, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
The FBI is leading the investigation. Valuable assistance was provided by the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), Republic of Guatemala, the FBI’s Legal Attaché in Panama City, Panama, the FBI Miami Field Office, Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. State Department, specifically the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua and the Embassy of Italy in Managua, Nicaragua. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander S. Chen is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated November 2, 2023