Former Bardstown Chief Financial Officer Sentenced to 35 Months in Federal Prison for Embezzling City Funds
Louisville, KY – A federal grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, returned an indictment on January 18, 2023, charging Yeniseis Saavedra and Alien Saavedra with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and disaster fraud and Yeniseis Saavedra with filing a false statement, disaster fraud and aggravated identity theft.
U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Andrea M. Kropf of the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Midwestern Region, and U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Lesley Allison of the Pittsburgh Division made the announcement.
According to the indictment, Yeniseis Saavedra, 32, and Alien Saavedra, 33, of Louisville, Kentucky, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aiding and abetting disaster fraud. The indictment charges both with conspiring to defraud factoring (trucking loan) companies by submitting false bills of lading. The indictment also charges both with filing for lost wage assistance payments authorized by a Presidential Memorandum resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic with the Kentucky Office of Unemployment. The filing for lost wage assistance payments were on behalf of Alien Saavedra and failed to report that Alien Saavedra was receiving wages from the motor carrier industry.
Yeniseis Saavedra was also charged with making a false statement to the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration when she falsely filed an application on behalf of another, C.S., claiming that C.S. was going to operate a trucking company. However, C.S. was not aware of the application filing, and Yeniseis Saavedra was operating the company.
Yeniseis Saavedra was also charged with disaster fraud for filing for lost wage assistance payments authorized by a Presidential Memorandum resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic with the Kentucky Office of Unemployment on behalf of C.S. Again, C.S. was unaware of the filing, this time for lost wage assistance payments, and C.S. did not receive any of the lost wage payments. Instead, the lost wage payments were sent to a bank account controlled by Yeniseis Saavedra.
Lastly, Yeniseis Saavedra was charged with aggravated identity theft for using the identity and social security number of C.S. without C.S.’s authorization to obtain the lost wage assistance payments.
Yeniseis Saavedra and Alien Saavedra made their initial court appearances this week before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. If convicted, Yeniseis Saavedra faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 87 years in prison, and Alien Saavedra faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. There is no parole in the federal system.
This case is being investigated by the United States Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General and the United States Postal Inspection Service with the assistance of the United States Department of Labor.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Ansari is prosecuting this case.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.