India- and New Jersey-Based Jeweler Charged with Multimillion-Dollar International Trade Fraud Scheme and Unlicensed Money Transmitting
NEWARK, N.J. – A New Jersey man admitted violating the Travel Act using the internet to engage in money laundering, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Juan Perez-Aguila, 69, of Paulsboro, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Feb. 1, 2024, before U.S. District Judge Brian Martinotti in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of interstate and foreign travel or transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Perez-Aguila unlawfully accessed and controlled customer accounts of a company offering point-of-sale services and issued chargeback refunds from those accounts to other accounts that he controlled. Once he obtained the stolen funds from the customer accounts, Perez-Aguila laundered more than $20,000 of the criminally derived proceeds into another bank account that he controlled. Perez-Aguila misappropriated over $1 million from the victims of his fraudulent scheme.
The violation of the Travel Act carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for June 13, 2024.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, under the direction of Christopher A. Nielsen, Philadelphia Division, and Homeland Security Investigations Newark, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Alfonso, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Suggs of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton.