Convicted Ponzi Schemer and Alleged Conspirator Indicted for Multimillion-Dollar Fraud Scheme and Obstruction of Justice
NEWARK, N.J. – Four individuals admitted to their roles in conspiring to transport stolen property derived from home burglaries across state lines and related crimes, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Julian Zorilla, 53, Erica Rincon, 39, Jhonatan Lozada Serna, 32, all Colombian nationals, and Pablo Neira, 26, of New York, pleaded guilty by videoconference this week before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to informations charging each of them with one count of conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines. In addition, Zorilla, Rincon, and Neira also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and Lozada Serna pleaded guilty to illegally re-entering the United States of America after being previously deported for an aggravated felony.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From Dec. 14, 2019, through Jan. 14, 2020, Zorilla, Rincon, Neira, and Lozada Serna conspired with each other to burglarize homes in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The defendants stole money, jewelry, and designer clothing. They were arrested while breaking into a home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Zorilla, Rincon, and Neira obtained fraudulent foreign travel documents under fictitious names to gain access to United States banks. They used fraudulently obtained financial devices to rent vehicles and hotel rooms used in furtherance of the commission of these home burglaries. Lozada Serna illegally re-entered the United States after his removal in 2019 after he was previously convicted of an aggravated felony in Texas.
The charge of conspiracy to transport stolen property carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. The charge for illegally re-entering the United States carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing for all four defendants is scheduled for July 13, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the FBI, under the direction of George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas. She also thanked special agents of the FBI Baltimore Division, Wilmington Resident Agency and Delaware Violent Crimes Task Force; the FBI New York Office, Joint Terrorism Task Force, John F. Kennedy Airport Resident Agency; Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Enforcement and Removal Operations, Newark; the New Castle County Delaware Police Department, and the Beachwood New Jersey Police Department, for their work on the case.
The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Travers of the U.S. Attorney’s Office OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.