Three Individuals Indicted For Bank Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft
SAN JUAN, P.R. - On April 28, 2017, the Grand Jury returned a 23-count indictment charging Sheila Judith Quiñones-Santos, Edgardo “Gary” Luis Nazario-Montijo and Felipe Soto-González with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, substantive counts of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. The Indictment also includes charges against Nazario-Montijo for theft of government funds, and fraud against the Social Security Disability Insurance Program by making false representations and concealing material information from the program.
The indictment alleges that the operations manager for Magritte, Inc., Sheila Judith Quiñones-Santos, created and printed checks against the subsidiaries’ bank accounts for services never rendered. Quiñones-Santos also created fraudulent invoices using the identity of legitimate Magritte suppliers and made fraudulent entries in the electronic accounting system of Magritte, Inc., and its subsidiaries to justify the fraudulent expenditures in the corporate books and records.
These fraudulent checks are alleged to have been cashed between May 2, 2012 and September 16, 2014, by either “Gary” Nazario-Montijo, Quiñones-Santos’ consensual partner, or Felipe Soto-González. The allegations are based on evidence recovered in the investigation that indicates that Nazario-Montijo cashed the checks at several locations in the metropolitan area, including a check cashing service in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, while Soto-González cashed checks at a local bank. The 244 checks fraudulently cashed account for a total misappropriation of approximately $731,827.62 from Magritte, Inc. or its subsidiaries “Ponte Fresco,” “Passion,” “Que Pasta,” and “Under the Trees.”
Nazario-Montijo is charged with defrauding the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. The indictment alleges that he provided false information on his application for benefits under the program claiming that he could not work despite the fact that he continued to work without reporting his earnings.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum possible sentence of incarceration of 30 years for bank fraud, and a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated identity theft. If convicted, Nazario-Montijo faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years for the social security fraud.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by AUSA Dennise N. Longo-Quiñones and SAUSA Vanessa D. Bonano-Rodríguez.