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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Two Sentenced in Bank Fraud Scheme

HOUSTON – Three Houston residents have been ordered to federal prison for perpetrating a scheme to obtain two loans totaling $1.3 million, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick along with Special Agent-in-Charge Laurie L. Younger of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG). Hugo Lafuente, 59, pleaded guilty Aug. 29, 2016, while Rick Hajdik, 54, pleaded guilty Nov. 14, 2016.

Today, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison, who accepted the guilty pleas, handed Lafuente  a 25-month sentence, while Hajdik was ordered to serve a 20-month sentence. Each was further ordered to pay $735,758 in restitution.

“The FDIC-OIG, along with its law enforcement partners, is dedicated to pursuing those who commit schemes to defraud the nation’s federally insured financial institutions,” said Younger.

With the help of a tax preparer, Lafuente, and Hajdik devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain two loans from a local bank. The first was a Small Business Administration loan made to Lafuente for $250,000 and the second was a construction loan for $1,080,000.

The bank approved and funded both loans based on fraudulent and falsified income tax returns and false information in Lafuente’s personal financial statements. Hajdik, who was Lafuente’s loan officer at the bank, came up with the inflated and false numbers that Lafuente needed to show on his income tax returns in order to obtain the loans.

Both loans defaulted and the bank’s loss from the two loans after sale of land collateral was $735,758.  

The FDIC-OIG and The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Belinda Beek is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated September 19, 2018