Two Individuals and a Healthcare Management Company Indicted for Bankruptcy Fraud, Money Laundering, PPP Fraud, and Bank Fraud
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Ivelisse Rivera-Padilla and Carla Carrillo-Torres, and the company VIP Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (“VIP Healthcare”) were indicted by a federal Grand Jury in relation to bankruptcy fraud, a money laundering scheme, PPP fraud, and bank fraud announced W. Stephen Muldrow, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
Ivelisse Rivera-Padilla, the President of VIP Healthcare, was indicted in a bankruptcy fraud scheme for making materially false representations from March 2017 to May 2022 in order to defraud during her bankruptcy proceeding, In re: Ivelisse Rivera Padilla, Case No. 17-01782, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 157. Additionally, she is charged with 10 counts of concealment of assets during her bankruptcy proceedings in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 152(1), and 3 counts of making false statements in relation to such bankruptcy proceedings, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 152(3).
The indictment alleges that during the bankruptcy proceedings, Ivelisse Rivera-Padilla concealed property and income and failed to disclose to the trustee charged with control of the debtor’s property and from the creditors and the United States Trustee all of the bankruptcy estate during the course of her bankruptcy proceedings, including, but not limited to the creation, operation, ownership, and control of VIP Healthcare.
On or about June 23, 2017, Rivera-Padilla incorporated VIP Healthcare, and on or about June 30, 2017, signed a contract between VIP Healthcare and the Municipality of Cataño to manage and administer the “Job Andujar” Diagnostic and Treatment Center. The contract awarded VIP Healthcare $1,134,000.00 paid via monthly installments of $189,000.00. Between 2017 and 2022, additional contracts were executed between VIP Healthcare and the Municipality of Cataño in excess of $9,000,000.00. Rivera-Padilla accessed, controlled, and used over $1,000,000.00 of these proceeds from VIP Healthcare’s bank accounts for her personal use and benefit without disclosing such income during her bankruptcy proceedings.
The indictment further alleges that Rivera-Padilla concealed the purchase of an apartment located at Condominium Golf & Playa, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, for $270,000.00, and a 2,159.5152 square-meter plot of land located at Rainforest and Sea View Resort in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, for $275,000.00. Rivera-Padilla also concealed the creation and interest in another corporate entity known as Farmacia Libertad, as well as income from a rental property business through AirBnB.
Defendants Rivera-Padilla, Carrillo-Torres, and VIP Healthcare are facing 28 counts of money laundering based on individual transactions made using funds concealed during the bankruptcy proceedings. These transactions were made to purchase multiple properties and real estate for Rivera-Padilla and Carrillo-Torres.
Additionally, Carrillo-Torres and VIP Healthcare are charged with making false statements in relation to a $249,755.35 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan.
If convicted, Carla Carrillo-Torres may be sentenced to a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of $1,000,000.00 for violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1014 and 1344 (Bank Fraud). For each count of money laundering under 18 U.S.C § 1957, Rivera-Padilla and Carrillo-Torres face up to 10 years of imprisonment. In addition, Rivera-Padilla also faces up to 5 years of imprisonment for each count under 18 U.S.C §§157 and 152 (Bankruptcy Fraud). VIP Healthcare faces monetary fines, among other penalties, for each count of conviction.
“The defendants used bankruptcy proceedings to defraud the United States Trustee Program and creditors. They also illegally used COVID relief funds to benefit themselves,” said U.S. Attorney Muldrow. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains vigilant in the effort to enforce bankruptcy laws and punish those who illegally diverted and used critical COVID funds for their own personal gain.”
“Together with U.S. Attorney Muldrow and our law enforcement partners, we will continue to pursue fraud and abuse in bankruptcy cases,” stated Mary Ida Townson, U.S. Trustee for Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands (Region 21). “I am thankful for the appointment by the U.S. Attorney of two Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys from our San Juan office for the prosecution of those who engage in fraudulent conduct in bankruptcy cases.” The U.S. Trustee Program is the component of the Justice Department that protects the integrity of the bankruptcy system by overseeing case administration and litigating to enforce the bankruptcy laws.
“During the regular course of an investigation, the FBI gives individuals involved in criminal activity, numerous opportunities to do the right thing. Such was the case with these two subjects,” said Joseph González, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI San Juan Field Office. “The FBI message has been clear from day one. Come to us before we come to you. We are committed to investigating every violation to its last consequence.”
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney José Capó Iriarte and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney José C. Díaz Vega from the Office of the U.S. Trustee.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is a continuation of the investigation involving municipal contracts awarded in the Municipality of Cataño, which has resulted in the conviction of multiple contractors and public officials. See United States v. Félix Delgado-Montalvo, 21-463 (RAM); United States v. Oscar Santamaria-Torres, 21-464 (RAM); and United States v. Raymond Rodríguez, 21-465 (RAM); United States v. Pedro Marrero-Miranda, 22-251 (RAM); United States v. Mario Villegas-Vargas, 21-468(FAB); and United States v. Jose Bou-Santiago, 22-379(ADC).
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.