WASHINGTON, July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced that the owner of a construction company in Mexico was sentenced to serve 24 months' probation for his role in a scheme to defraud Ex-Im Bank of approximately $1 million for a fraud scheme orchestrated during 2006.
Jose Mirabent-Paez, 42, was sentenced by Judge Kathleen M. Williams in U.S. District Court in Miami, FL. Mirabent, a citizen of Mexico, pled guilty at the joint guilty plea and sentencing hearing on July 10, 2014. Mirabent pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement on a loan and credit application, in connection with a scheme to defraud the Ex-Im Bank of approximately $1 million.
According to court documents, Mirabent was the owner of Cauferrat, S.A., a construction company in Mexico City, Mexico. The court documents state that Mirabent falsely stated to a Miami, FL bank that Mirabent was going to use Ex-Im Bank guaranteed loan proceeds to purchase approximately $1 million worth of construction equipment. In reality, Mirabent did not use the loan proceeds to purchase the equipment as purported to the Miami bank and to Ex-Im Bank.
A related defendant, Victor Arana de la Garza, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Miami before Judge Adalberto Jordan on August 18, 2011. On December 8, 2011, Judge Jordan sentenced Arana to six (6) months in prison and 24 months' probation. Arana was also ordered to pay $17,500 in forfeiture. Arana, 52, of Houston, TX worked for Global Structured Trade Solutions and conspired to submit various false documents to a Miami, FL bank and Ex-Im Bank on behalf of Cauferrat, S.A. The Ex-Im Bank guaranteed loan defaulted, causing a loss of approximately $299,849. The original loan amount was close to $1 million, but approximately $700,000 was paid on the loan before default. Upon Arana's sentencing, all of the restitution was re-paid to Ex-Im Bank.
The U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida, Miami Division prosecuted the case. The case was investigated by Ex-Im Bank OIG and Homeland Security Investigations in Houston, TX.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing. Ex-Im Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
Ex-Im Bank OIG is an independent office within Ex-Im Bank. The OIG receives and investigates complaints and information concerning violations of law, rules or regulations, fraud against Ex-Im Bank, mismanagement, waste of funds, and abuse of authority connected with Ex-Im Bank's programs and operations. Additional information about the OIG can be found at www.exim.gov/oig. Complaints and reports of waste, fraud, and abuse related to Ex-Im Bank programs and operations can be reported to the OIG hotline at 888-OIG-EXIM (888-644-3946) or via email at IGhotline@exim.gov.
SOURCE Office of Inspector General for the Export-Import Bank of the United States