Married Couple Sentenced for Laundering $1.4 Million in Proceeds from Jewelry Thefts and Unemployment Fraud During Pandemic
Assistant U. S. Attorney Joseph Green (619) 546-6955
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – October 6, 2022
SAN DIEGO – Tijuana resident Alexis Castillo Padilla pleaded guilty in federal court today to criminal charges stemming from his scheme to defraud interstate carriers and brokers operating in the trucking industry.
According to his plea agreement, Padilla conducted what is known as a “double-broker” scheme. As a part of the scheme, Padilla stole the identity of a Spring Valley interstate carrier and agreed to make deliveries using the company’s stolen identity. Then, rather than delivering the loads, Padilla posed as a shipper and re-brokered the same loads to other carriers who delivered the freight. Padilla then collected the payments for the completed deliveries but did not pay the carriers who actually delivered the loads and were unaware that Padilla was running a double-broker scheme. Padilla orchestrated most of the scheme from Tijuana, Mexico.
Padilla pleaded guilty to these charges following his extradition to the United States from Italy. Padilla was arrested in Italy and extradited to the United States on May 27, 2022. As a part of his plea agreement, Padilla has agreed to pay restitution to his victims, estimated to be at least $239,904.
“Padilla used deceit and deception to defraud freight brokers and interstate carriers trying to make an honest living moving goods throughout the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “He will now be held to account for his crimes even though they were committed from outside the United States.” Grossman commended the prosecution team as well as the Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General agents for investigating and prosecuting this case.”
“Today’s guilty plea demonstrates our commitment to detecting and pursuing those who engage in egregious acts of fraud that negatively affect both businesses and consumers,” said Andrea M. Kropf, Special Agent-In-Charge, Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Midwestern Region. “We are proud of our work with our prosecutorial partners in putting an end to this very complex ‘double-broker’ scheme.”
Padilla is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Houston on December 7, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge John A. Houston.
DEFENDANT Case Number 19CR1611-JAH
Alexis Castillo Padilla Age 45 Tijuana, Mexico
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Counts 1-4: Wire Fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1343
Maximum Penalty: Twenty years in prison, $250,000 fine
Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General