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Press Release

Five Convicted in Fraud Scheme

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

HOUSTON – A total of five people from three different states have all been convicted in a $6 million nonexistent commercial accounts receivable scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Stefano Guido Vitale, 40, of Scottsdale, Arizona pleaded guilty today to all 10 counts as charged, while Alan Leschyshyn, 53, of Cave Creek, Arizona; Bree Ann Davis, 39, of Lakewood, Colorado and Tammie Roth Hanania, 58, and Edward Peter Hanania, 64, both of Folsom, California, all had previously entered their respective pleas. All were convicted of conspiring to engage a scheme to defraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Vitale and Leschyshyn were also convicted of eight additional counts of wire fraud.

The scheme produced approximately $6.4 million in fraudulently obtained proceeds which the defendants agreed to launder through various bank accounts. They executed the scheme to defraud by using and establishing various business entities to sell, at a discount, nonexistent commercial accounts receivable. The defendants would approach factoring companies as sellers of customized gaming vault bundles and present fabricated invoices as evidence the defendants were owed a certain amount of money for goods provided to another one of their business entities. To establish creditworthiness of these companies and to convince the factoring company the credit risk was minimal, the defendants fabricated and/or altered documents and provided them to the factoring company.

The fraud conspiracy also proved that Vitale and Leschyshyn defrauded BOKF, NA, doing business as Bank of Arizona, when they applied for and received a $1 million line of credit secured by the Export Import Bank of the United States.

The conspiracy to commit bank, mail and wire fraud carries a possible sentence of 30 years in federal prison. The money laundering and wire fraud counts each also carry a possible term of imprisonment of 20 years. Vitale will remain in custody, while the others were permitted release pending sentencing, which has been set for May 16, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 21, 2016

Financial Fraud