WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced today that pursuant to an ongoing joint investigation, several federal indictments were unsealed in El Paso, TX. As a result of the unsealing, investigators are currently attempting to locate and arrest 11 fugitives charged as a result of the joint investigation related to export financing fraud.
Ex-Im Bank, the official U.S. export credit agency, assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets to help U.S. companies maintain and create U.S. jobs. In particular, Ex-Im Bank issues loan insurance and guarantees to financial institutions that provide credit to foreign companies so they can purchase U.S. goods and services. Ex-Im Bank's loan insurances and guarantees provide that if the foreign borrower defaults on its loan repayments to the lending institution, Ex-Im Bank will reimburse the amount of the outstanding loan principal and interest to the lending institution.
The OIG investigations have found that the fugitives and several other defendants conspired to defraud Ex-Im Bank of millions of dollars through various loan schemes to finance fictitious and fraudulent exports of purported U.S. manufactured goods into Mexico. As a result of their actions, the loans defaulted, resulting in over $22 million in claims paid by Ex-Im Bank to various lending banks. The defendants in each of the cases have been charged with a variety of federal criminal violations to include conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering. Since 2010, the cases have resulted in 24 criminal indictments, 4 criminal informations, 21 arrest warrants, 12 arrests, and 5 convictions resulting in prison sentences and over $4.6 million in criminal restitution and $5.6 million in court ordered forfeiture.
Federal Agents are currently seeking the location and arrest of 11 fugitives charged in the unsealed federal indictments, and who are believed to be residing in or near Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. These fugitives are:
- Sergio Acosta-Camacho, a Mexican citizen and former owner of AML Construction;
- Pedro Ruvalcaba-Placencia, a Mexican citizen and owner of a business, Delicas Nuez, in Ciudad Juarez;
- Alfredo Rodela-Campos, a Mexican citizen residing in Chihuahua;
- Jorge Martinez-Joo, a Mexican citizen and former owner of El Paso-based exporter, El Paso Valcomar Inc.;
- Manuel Ernesto Ortiz-Barraza, a Mexican citizen residing in Chihuahua;
- Adrian Rascon-Chavez and his wife Genoveva Fontes de Rascon, both United States citizens and former owners of Juarez-based clinic Centro Oncologico de Norte SA;
- Maria de Jesus Ortiz-Saldivar, a Mexican citizen and the former accountant of Genoveva Fontes de Rascon;
- Jorge Valdez-Cota and his wife, Veronica Iglesias-Lucero, both Mexican citizens and owners of a metal fabrication shop in Ciudad Juarez; and
- Gilberto Ruiz-Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen, resident of Ciudad Juarez, and owner of Passage Supply.
Ex-Im Bank OIG, Immigration Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations in Washington, D.C. are conducting this joint investigation. HSI Special Agents in El Paso and Mexico are assisting Ex-Im Bank OIG agents to locate the fugitives through liaison efforts with Mexican law enforcement authorities.
Through their fraudulent schemes of fictitious exports of U.S. goods to Mexico, these individuals caused significant losses and undermined Ex-Im Bank's mission of helping U.S. companies create or maintain U.S. jobs by promoting exports.
Individuals with information concerning the location of the fugitives in question may call the Ex-Im Bank OIG Hotline at 1-888-OIG-EXIM (1-888-644-3946) or HSI Communications at 1-407-975-1820 or 1-800- BE-ALERT (1-800-232-5378).
Ex-Im Bank is an independent executive agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. Ex-Im Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance, and financing 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