Oscar Ferrer Rivera Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy, Mail Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft
SAN JUAN, P.R. – Today, Oscar Ferrer-Rivera pleaded guilty before Magistrate Judge Marshal D. Morgan to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, twelve counts of mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
As a part of the guilty plea, Ferrer-Rivera admitted that from January 2011 to January 2016, in the District of Puerto Rico, he engaged in a scheme to defraud and conspired with others to engage in a scheme to defraud by lying and materially misrepresenting to individuals residing in Puerto Rico that he would invest the individual’s money in stocks, funds, securities, and other financial products (“investment vehicles”) with guaranteed principal and a fixed rate of return.
In furtherance of the scheme to defraud, Ferrer-Rivera falsely represented that the investment vehicles were safe, that all principal was guaranteed, and that the investment vehicle would earn a fixed rate of return. Ferrer-Rivera also falsely represented that the individual’s money would actually be invested in an investment vehicle. Ferrer-Rivera created corporations in Puerto Rico and Florida to open bank accounts and to deposit individual’s investment payments. These corporations, named Reco Financial, Inc., National Western HIA, Inc., and CGB Financial, Inc., were then used by Ferrer-Rivera to transfer investor’s funds to himself and others. Ferrer-Rivera then mailed false investment statements and interest payments to investors that falsely represented that funds were invested, falsely identified a type of investment, and falsely characterized the investment as having guaranteed principal and interest. In fact, Ferrer-Rivera failed to invest the investor’s money. The government estimates that the total amount invested in this fraudulent scheme exceeds $5 million, mainly from victims residing in the Cabo Rojo area of Puerto Rico.
Ferrer-Rivera also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft in relation to his July 7, 2016 use of another individual’s social security card and birth certificate to obtain a Puerto Rico identification from the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation. This occurred while Ferrer-Rivera was released on bail pending trial. The illegally obtained Puerto Rico identification was utilized by Ferrer-Rivera to flee the jurisdiction in violation of his pretrial conditions of release and to illegally obtain a Florida driver’s license. Ferrer-Rivera was arrested in Florida in March 2017 and remains detained pending sentencing.
If you think you have been defrauded by defendant Oscar Ferrer-Rivera please call the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (787) 766-5656 or the FBI at (787) 754-6000 to report that you suspect you are a victim of fraud.
Sentencing will be scheduled by the presiding District Judge, the Honorable Pedro A. Delgado. Ferrer-Rivera faces a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment for each of the conspiracy and mail fraud charges and two mandatory consecutive years of imprisonment for the aggravated identity theft count. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Seth Erbe and was investigated by the FBI and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
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