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Two indicted for wire, loan application fraud

By on February 6, 2018

SAN JUAN – On Feb, 1, a federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment charging Joel De Jesús-Ocasio and Marangelis Rivera-Colón with wire fraud and false statements in loan applications, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, according to a Justice Department release.

According to the indictment, since 2004, De Jesús-Ocasio was a licensed life insurance broker/agent who worked for National Western Life Insurance Co. In 2010, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance of Puerto Rico (CIPR) revoked his broker license and as a result, on or about Feb. 14, 2011, National Western Life suspended its contract with him.

Rivera-Colón was not an insurance agent, but De Jesús-Ocasio submitted false insurance license documentation in her name to National Western Life so that De Jesús-Ocasio could continue to sell insurance policies and annuities.

From December 2010 to November 2011, using the fraudulently acquired insurance agent status with National Western for Rivera-Colón, De Jesús-Ocasio sold insurance policies and annuities and obtained $283,718.05 in commissions for these sales. These payments were wire transferred from National Western to a Scotiabank personal account belonging to Rivera-Colón, but controlled and utilized by De Jesús-Ocasio.

The defendants made or caused to be made, material false statements to three different banks to obtain three loans. “To wit, Western Bank for the purposes of obtaining a home loan for a total amount of $304,000.00; to First Bank for the purposes of obtaining an automobile loan for a total amount of $47,231.00 for a Jeep Grand Cherokee; and to Scotiabank for the purposes of obtaining an automobile loan for a total amount of $124,200.00 for the purchase of a Nissan Skyline GTR,” the release reads.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum possible sentence of 30 years. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Veronda. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) are in charge of the investigation.

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