U.S. CITIZEN RESIDING IN HONDURAS EXTRADITED TO FACE FEDERAL CHARGES IN NEW MEXICO
Charges Arise Out of Scheme to Defraud Bank in Deming, N.M.
ALBUQUERQUE – A U.S. citizen residing in Honduras has been extradited to the United States, and transferred to the District of New Mexico, where he stands accused of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy charges arising out of a scheme to defraud a bank in southern New Mexico, as well as other financial institutions and individual investors.
The Honduras Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (TCIU) of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested Bruce Beckner, 56, on a federal indictment on March 7, 2019, at the San Pedro Sula airport in Honduras. At the time of his arrest, Beckner had been a resident of Roatan, Honduras, for several years. Beckner remained incarcerated in Honduras until Honduras approved his extradition on April 11, 2019, and he was transferred into U.S. custody on April 16, 2019.
Beckner was arrested by HSI Albuquerque on the night of April 16, 2019, at the Albuquerque International Sunport, after he was extradited and flown in from Tegucigalpa under escort by HSI Honduras. Beckner made his initial appearance in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on April 17, 2019.
This morning, Beckner was arraigned on the indictment, and entered a not guilty plea. During this morning’s proceedings, Beckner waived his right to a detention hearing and was ordered detained pending trial.
The indictment alleges that, from 2000 to 2011, Beckner and a co-defendant, Arthur Herlihy, 70, of Santa Fe, N.M., engaged in a fraudulent scheme to develop a business plan and secure financing to renovate a truck stop in Deming. It further alleges that Beckner obtained business loans by making misrepresentations; made false statements to induce investors to invest in the truck stop; and diverted substantial portions of those funds for his personal benefit.
Herlihy pled guilty in Feb. 2017, to making a false statement to a bank on a loan document, and was sentenced in Aug. 2017
If convicted on the charges in the indictment, Beckner faces the following maximum statutory penalties: 30 years of imprisonment on the bank fraud charge; 20 years of imprisonment on the wire fraud charge; and a maximum of 30 years of imprisonment on the conspiracy charge. Charges in indictments are only accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Special Investigations Division of the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean J. Sullivan is prosecuting the case. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, HSI Honduras TCIU, and HSI ICE Country Attaché in Honduras assisted with the extradition.