Skip to main content
Press Release

Four Individuals Plead Guilty To Wire Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, P.R. – Today, defendants Joel Díaz Rosario, Mitza Vázquez Meléndez, Marielexy Cestary Roland, and Carlos Calderón Díaz pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Bruce J. McGiverin to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. On March 25, 2015, a Federal grand jury returned a twenty-three count indictment charging these individuals. The United States Secret Service and the Puerto Rico Police Department were in charge of the investigation.

Beginning in or about June 2008, and continuing to in or about October 2011, the defendants knowingly and willfully conspired or  engaged in a scheme to defraud AMGEN to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises. The purpose of this scheme was for the defendants to divert AMGEN monies to their pockets using AMGEN’s American Express corporate accounts by making it appear that the transactions were valid purchases to approved vendors when, in fact, they were not.  In order to execute the scheme, defendants caused to be transmitted by means of wire communications in interstate commerce numerous fictitious charges for various amounts using AMGEN’s American Express accounts to “approved vendors.”

Defendants admitted that the charges were not actual valid purchases to AMGEN vendors.  Rather, this was simply a fictitious method by which to transfer AMGEN monies to defendants for their own pecuniary profit and gain. AMGEN suffered losses totaling over $1.3 million because of this fraudulent scheme. 

AMGEN is a multinational company with a manufacturing plant in Juncos, Puerto Rico, which develops biopharmaceutical products. AMGEN’s servers are located in California, Nevada, Rhode Island, Washington, and Colorado. As part of its business, AMGEN issued certain employees American Express credit cards to be used only for official purchases on behalf of AMGEN. Defendant admits that all purchases made using these cards were routed through American Express’ servers in Phoenix, Arizona.     

“Some of the defendants had the duty and responsibility to ensure that AMGEN’s facility was able to properly operate twenty four hours a day, seven days a week; but instead, they misused their positions of trust within the company to commit fraud to enrich themselves illegally,” stated Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “AMGEN suffered a loss of over $1.3 million as a result of the scheme; those responsible for this loss were held accountable for their corrupt actions.”

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service with the collaboration of the Puerto Rico Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luke Cass.

Updated September 9, 2015