New Mexico Husband and Wife Plead Guilty to Federal Charges in Connection with Bank Fraud Scheme
In El Paso today, 39-year-old Michael Nedal Annabi and his wife, 34-year-old Perla Maldonado Annabi of Santa Teresa, NM, pleaded guilty to federal charges associated with a scheme to defraud multiple local banks and credit unions through applications for over $900,000 in personal loans and lines of credit, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr.
Appearing before Senior United States District Judge David Briones, both defendants pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of wire fraud. By pleading guilty, the defendants admitted to participating in a three-year scheme beginning in 2013 which defrauded 21 financial institutions nationwide. Throughout the scheme the defendants and others would obtain loans and lines of credit after providing the financial institutions with fraudulent personal and income information. Sentencing for the Michael and Perla Annabi is scheduled for July 13, 2018.
Yesterday, 25-year-old Jenzel Nash of El Paso; 26-year-old Terrance Yelder of El Paso; and, 30-year-old Miguel Munoz of Santa Teresa, all entered guilty pleas in connection with this investigation. Nash pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting making a false statement on a loan/credit application. Yelder pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Munoz pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement on a loan application. Sentencing for Yelder and Nash is scheduled for July 12, 2018. Sentencing has yet to be scheduled for Munoz.
On March 14, 2018, 34-year-old Basem Elgelda of Petaluma, CA, pleaded guilty to three counts of making a false statement on a loan application. Elgelda is scheduled to be sentenced on June 6, 2018.
“These guilty pleas are a big win for the people of El Paso. The fraudulent actions of a few bad actors can make it much harder for our local financial institutions to serve the community," stated U.S Attorney John F. Bash.
Litigation is still pending against the remaining co-defendant in this case, 21-year-old Daniel Munoz of Santa Teresa. Munoz is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making a false on a loan application. Jury selection is currently set for June 4, 2018, in El Paso before Judge Briones.
All of the defendants remain on bond. Each defendant faces up to 30 years in federal prison upon final conviction.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the El Paso Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Rifian S. Newaz, Robert Almonte and Debra Kanof are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.