Jal, N.M., Accountant Arraigned on Federal Fraud and Identity Theft Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – This morning, Roger L. Baeza, 31, of Jal, N.M., was arraigned on an 81-count indictment charging him with 78 counts of securities fraud, one count of access device fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Baeza entered a not guilty plea to the indictment during his arraignment hearing.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Baeza is charged with defrauding two Jalbased businesses, Lea Energy Services, LLC, and Fulfer Oil & Cattle Company, LCC, of approximately $572,000 between June 2010 and Feb. 2012. During that period, Baeza was employed as the in-house accountant by the owners of the two businesses.
According to the indictment, from June 4, 2010 to Feb. 27, 2012, Baeza forged checks belonging to Lea Energy Services, LLC, and the Fulfer Oil & Cattle Company, LCC, on 78 separate occasions and thus defrauded his employers of an aggregate of $311,960.08. Count 79 of the indictment alleges that, during that same period, Baeza unlawfully used a credit card issued to his employers to defraud his employers of an aggregate of $189,267.02. Counts 80 and 81 each charge Baeza with unlawfully using the identification of one of his employers to unlawfully withdraw money from his employers’ business accounts.
The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the 78 securities fraud counts and the access device fraud count is ten years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the two aggravated identity theft counts is a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment to be served consecutive to any other prison sentence imposed and a $250,000 fine.
Following his arrest on a criminal complaint on Nov. 6, 2012, Baeza is on conditions of release pending trial.
The case was investigated by the Roswell office of the FBI and the New Mexico State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Cairns.
Allegations in criminal complaints and indictments are only accusations. Criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.