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Press Release

New York Man Convicted of Bank Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – A New York man was convicted by a federal jury after 39 minutes of deliberation of a bank fraud charge related to the brutal assault of his father-in-law. Prosecutors allege the crime was driven by the defendant, Marc Candelaria, 36, of Wantagh, New York, accruing mounting gambling debts at the time.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, in the early hours of Sept. 14, 2021, an armed and masked intruder entered Candelaria’s father-in-law’s home and forced him to write a check for $23,000.00 and demanded he leave all other portions of the check blank.  The intruder then severely beat the victim and left him in the closet of his home. Candelaria’s father-in-law did not see the intruder’s face and retained little memory of the incident due to the severity of his injuries.

On Sept. 15, 2021, Wells Fargo bank alerted the victim’s wife to a possibly fraudulent check. The bank advised that a hold had been placed on the check due to what appeared to be two separate handwritings. The next day, she viewed the check and observed that it had been made out to Candelaria. Candelaria claimed that his father-in-law had given him the check because they intended to invest in Bitcoin together. The victim’s wife doubted Candelaria’s story but wrote him another check for $23,000.00.

The victim’s wife later informed the victim that she had written Candelaria a check to replace the first one. The victim denied agreeing to invest in Bitcoin or writing a check to Candelaria but recalled that he had been forced to write a check for $23,000.00 against his will during the home invasion. The victim’s wife contacted the Santa Fe Police Department and provided copies of the two checks made out to Candelaria.

A deposit slip for the check the victim wrote during the home invasion was found in Candelaria’s car pursuant to a state search warrant. The deposit slip showed that the check was deposited at 8:58AM on the morning of the home invasion.

The Court ordered that Candelaria remain in detention pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled. At sentencing, Candelaria faces up to 30 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, made the announcement today.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samuel A. Hurtado and Natasha Moghadam are prosecuting the case.

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Updated March 28, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-125