Former Doral Employee And Contractor Indicted For Bank Fraud
SAN JUAN, P.R. – On Wednesday, February 18, a Federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment charging two individuals for financial institution fraud, misapplication of bank funds, wire fraud and money laundering, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The FBI is in charge of the investigation.
Defendant Annelise I. Figueroa was an employee of Doral Bank, and Vice-President of the Property and Facilities Department. Her duties and responsibilities included supervision of the maintenance of Doral Bank’s branch offices. Figueroa did not have authority to sign or approve contracts on behalf of Doral Bank, and her approval authority to commit bank funds was approximately $5,000.00. Defendant Rolando Rivera Solis was Vice-President of San Juan Tropical, a for profit corporation that provided cleaning services to Doral Bank.
The defendants engaged in a deceptive course of conduct designed to defraud Doral Bank. Defendant Annelise Figueroa would surreptitiously change the terms of a maintenance contract with San Juan Tropical, by issuing a letter of intent which materially changed the terms of a maintenance contract with Doral Bank, by specifying that the monthly fee would, in fact, be paid on a weekly basis, thereby causing the bank to pay San Juan Tropical and its principals fees to which they were not entitled, and securing benefits for herself and other family members, from San Juan Tropical.
For example, on January 21, 2011, the defendant Annelise Figueroa, issued a letter of intent indicating that the contract fee of $27,350.00 would be paid on a monthly basis. The letter was not signed by the defendant’s supervisor or any other bank executive. On January 24, 2011, Figueroa, issued a letter of intent indicating that the contract fee of $27,288.27 would be paid on a weekly basis. The letter was not signed by the defendant’s supervisor or any other bank executive.
Defendant Annelise I. Figueroa, being an employee of Doral Bank, a financial institution whose funds are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with intent to injure and defraud Doral Bank, willfully misapplied, abstracted, or purloined the sum of approximately $2,350,000.00 of the moneys, funds, or credits of such institution, in that the defendant without authority altered the material conditions of a maintenance contract with San Juan Tropical, for the purpose of causing Doral Bank to make the contractually stipulated monthly payments on a weekly basis.
As part of the manner and means of the scheme to defraud, defendant Figueroa, would pressure the Accounting Department to issue the weekly payments, and would also cause other bank employees to similarly direct the Accounting Department to issue the checks to San Juan Tropical, due to her personal relationship with defendant Rivera-Solis.
“We are committed to ensuring the integrity of the banking system and to prosecuting those who through their financial crimes undermine it for their personal gain,” stated Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “The fraudulent schemes devised to exploit our banking system for personal gain will be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This investigation continues.”
“We will continue to aggressively investigate fraudulent financial schemes that put in jeopardy the integrity of our financial system and are often a gateway to further criminal activity,” said Carlos Cases, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Puerto Rico.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum possible sentence of 30 years on the financial institution charge, 30 years on the wire fraud charge and 10 years for the money laundering charge. Figueroa is also facing a possible sentence of 30 years on the misapplication of bank funds.
The case is being investigated by FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney José Capó-Iriarte. Indictments are only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty. The investigation is ongoing.