SAN JUAN, P.R. – Yesterday evening, Kelvin García-Oquendo was sentenced to 89 months in prison (seven years and five months), $114,000 of restitution and three years of supervised release by United States District Court Chief Judge Aida Delgado-Colón, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
On August 28, 2013, García-Oquendo plead guilty of bank fraud, credit card fraud and identity theft. Between February and March of 2015, García-Oquendo, while on bond, was also charged with credit card fraud of approximately $41,111.62. For this case García-Oquendo pleaded guilty on August 17, 2015.
On May 22, 2013, a federal grand jury indicted 42 individuals as a result of an investigation led by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and the Puerto Rico Treasury Department. The defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and one count of a forfeiture allegation of $580,089.51. All the defendants pleaded guilty.
The USPIS and ICE-HSI conducted a Bank Fraud investigation involving 42 individuals from the Humacao, Puerto Rico area. Since 2010, the organization headed by named Kelvin García-Oquendo engaged in bank fraud, causing losses to several financial institutions in approximately $580,089.51. The intended loss amounts to approximately $1,205,834.15.
The organization had individuals performing different roles in furtherance of the conspiracy, such as: 1) leaders and organizers; 2) recruiters; 3) facilitators who would either open bank accounts or lend existing bank accounts for the deposit of false and fraudulent checks; 4) purchasers who would use ATM cards of the facilitators to purchase Money Gram Money Orders and Postal Money Orders with the proceeds of the bank fraud scheme; and 5) cashers who would go to different post offices to cash the money orders purchased by others.
“The egregious behavior of those who would exploit our banking system for personal and criminal gain will not be tolerated. We remain committed to investigating and apprehending those who cheat the system,” said US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “We are committed to ensuring the integrity of the banking system and to prosecuting those who would undermine it for their personal gain.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Héctor Ramírez-Carbó.