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Press Release

Former Vice President of Miami Aerospace Company and Accomplice Sentenced to Prison for Involvement in Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – The former vice president of a Miami Aerospace company and his co-conspirator were sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay over $2 million in restitution for their respective involvement in a mail, wire and honest services fraud conspiracy.

According to court filings, from August 2008, and continuing through October 2018, Mario Rene De La Torre, 54, of Fort Collins, Colo., used his position as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Miami-based Summit Aerospace, Inc. (Summit), to fraudulently embezzle over $2.1 million of Summit’s funds, which he split with his co-defendant, Joe Lewis McHomes 71, of Perry, Ga. Moreover, De La Torre evaded the payment of income tax on his ill-gotten gains, by laundering the fraud proceeds and filing false and fraudulent income tax returns.

To perpetrate the fraud scheme, De La Torre enlisted McHomes to pose as a sales consultant, who supposedly obtained aircraft part repair work for Summit, from Al-Raha Group for Technical Services (RGTS) in Saudi Arabia. De La Torre created fake invoices purportedly issued by McHomes’ fictitious consulting firm, J-CONN Solutions (J-CONN), for commissions McHomes purportedly earned for selling Summit’s services to RGTS. In fact, McHomes did not obtain the repair work that Summit performed for RGTS and was not entitled to any compensation from Summit. De La Torre submitted the fake J-CONN invoices to Summit’s accounts payable department, which would then issue the checks payable to J-CONN.  Significantly, De La Torre would create J-CONN invoices in amounts below $10,000 and cause Summit to issue a separate check for each invoice.  Summit would then send a set of checks to Joe McHomes through the mail system. When McHomes received a set of Summit checks, he would cash them at a check cashing store rather than a bank; and he would structure his cashing so that he didn’t cash more than $10,000 worth of checks on the same day in order to avoid the store’s filing of a cash transaction report (CTR) with the Treasury Department. McHomes would then kick-back fifty percent of the cash proceeds to De La Torre, again structured to avoid generating a CTR.

Mario De La Torre used the fraud proceeds to pay family expenses, including, among other things, his wife’s credit card bills and his daughter’s university education.

On June 27, U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams sentenced De La Torre to one year and one day’s imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  De la Torre previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and honest services fraud, and making and subscribing a false tax return. On June 27, Judge Williams sentenced McHomes to five months in a Residential Reentry Center, to be followed by three years of supervised release, the first five months of which will be home detention. McHomes previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud.  In addition, the Court ordered both defendants to pay restitution in the amount of $2,129,392.35.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida; Special Agent in Charge Derrell Freeman, U.S. Airforce, Office of Special Investigations, Procurement Fraud; Special Agent in Charge Darrin K. Jones of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Southeast Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line, of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office announced the sentences.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwayne E. Williams prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daren Grove is handling asset forfeiture.

You may find a copy of this press release (and any updates) on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 20-cr-20185.



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated July 8, 2024

Financial Fraud