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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 7, 2018

Woman Pleads Guilty To 30 Counts Of Wire Fraud

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico– Defendant Madeline Miró-Aponte pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Camille Vélez-Rivé to 30 counts of wire fraud involving in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000), announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. Miró-Aponte was charged today via an Information.

From approximately June 2011 through March 2017, Miró-Aponte provided accounting services to a company organized in Puerto Rico that was engaged in the manufacture, purchase, sale, and distribution of alcoholic products (“Company A”). Miró-Aponte devised a scheme to defraud the company by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses and representations that affected financial institutions.

As a part of the scheme, Miró-Aponte utilized credit from financial institutions, including Citi, Chase, Discover, Comenity, and Synchrony, to make purchases from merchants operating in Puerto Rico and the mainland United States. The merchants included Marriott, Southwest, American Eagle Outfitters, Sears, TJ-Max, Loft, Old Navy, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Amazon, JCPenney, Victoria’s Secret, Brooks Brothers, Best Buy, and Costco.

Miró-Aponte knowingly used Company A’s bank account information to process payments for her personal purchases, without the authorization or knowledge of Company A. These payments were transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate commerce. Miró-Aponte then falsified the accounts and records of Company A and other documents to avoid detection of the scheme.

From approximately June 2011 through March 2017, Miró-Aponte illegally processed payments totaling approximately one million thirty-five thousand dollars ($1,035,000) for her personal benefit using funds from Company A’s bank deposits.

As a part of the guilty plea, Miró-Aponte agreed to forfeit all property derived from the offense and to restitution in the amount of no less than $1,035,114 (minus any repayments already made to Company A).

 “Today’s conviction should serve as a reminder of our commitment to hold individuals accountable for their involvement in fraud schemes,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “The US Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners in bringing those commit financial crimes for personal gain to justice.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Erbe. The defendant is facing a maximum statutory penalty of up to thirty (30) years of imprisonment.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated December 7, 2018