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Press Release

Former New York Resident Pleads Guilty in Nearly $10 Million Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH –A former resident of Wappingers Falls, New York, has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of wire fraud and access device fraud, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Nicolas Frank Sucich, aka Francisco Javier Alavarez-Johnson, 48, of Cuidad de Tuxpan, Veracruz, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that between November 2007 and February 2011, Sucich conspired with others to defraud Liberty Travel and Scotiabank through the purchase of millions of dollars in airline travel packages and point of sale transactions throughout the U.S. using an unauthorized Scotiabank Mastercard. According to the information presented to the court, Sucich and others accumulated nearly $10 million in debit card charges, principally in the purchase of discount travel packages he purchased for himself and others using a business name of FCO Travels, located in Veracruz, Mexico, where Sucich had been living as a fugitive since approximately 1996.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for January 5, 2018. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 30 years in prison, and fine of $1,500,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Sucich is being held in custody pending his sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Nicolas Frank Sucich.

Updated September 5, 2017