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Justice News

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

Monday, February 22, 2016

San Antonio Mother and Son Charged in Million Dollar Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft Scheme Involving Relative’s Church

In San Antonio, a mother and son have surrendered to federal authorities based on an alleged million dollar fraud scheme involving a local church owned by a different family member announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Lee Dotson, and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge William Cotter.

A 12-count federal grand jury indictment, returned last week, charges 23–year-old Brennan R. Diaz and 44–year-old Deborah A. Diaz with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of money laundering,  The indictment also charges Brennan Diaz with four substantive counts of bank fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of money laundering.  Deborah Diaz is charged with two substantive counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, between February 2015 and October 2015, the defendants conspired to defraud the La Obra Milagrosa Church (aka “The Miracle Center Church”) of more than $1 million.  Both defendants were associated with the TMC Church which was owned by Brennan’s grandfather.  Neither defendant had authority to sign TMC Church checks.  The indictment alleges that Brennan Diaz wrote, and fraudulently forged his grandfather’s signature on, approximately 50 TMC Church business checks made payable to himself.  Defendant Deborah Diaz allegedly forged her father’s signature on three TMC Church business checks made payable to herself.  The total amount of those fraudulent checks is estimated to be $1,094,100.00.

Upon conviction, bank fraud calls for up to 30 years in federal prison; money laundering calls for up to ten years in federal prison; conspiracy to commit bank fraud calls for up to 30 years in federal prison; and, aggravated identity theft calls for mandatory two years in federal prison.  Brennan Diaz surrendered to federal authorities this morning.  He was released this afternoon on a $30,000 bond pending trial.  Deborah Diaz surrendered to authorities on Friday.  She is currently on a $50,000 unsecured bond pending trial.

This joint investigation is being conducted by the Financial Crimes Section of the U.S. Secret Service South Texas Regional Task Force and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.  Other agencies involved in the Task Force include the San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety-Criminal Investigations Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P. Moore is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Updated February 22, 2016