Former Wells Fargo Employee Sentenced For Accepting a Bribe in Exchange For Helping to Approve a Loan Guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced today that El Paso resident Gerardo Uribe, 45, a former employee of Wells Fargo Bank, was sentenced to 8 months incarceration on January 27, 2012. The Honorable U.S. District Judge Fred Biery in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio, TX, sentenced Uribe for his role in accepting a bribe in exchange for helping to approve a loan. Uribe had previously pled guilty on October 6, 2011 to a criminal information that charged him with bank bribery and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from a specified unlawful activity.
In addition to the above sentence, Uribe was ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution and serve 60 months of supervised release. According to court records and plea documents, throughout 2006 and 2007, Uribe worked at the El Paso branch of Wells Fargo Bank underwriting business loans, some of which were guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank. Around January 2006, a Mexican business owner submitted a loan application to Wells Fargo Bank requesting $3,462,910 to purchase business machine equipment from a company in the United States. According to plea documents, the Mexican business owner offered to pay $50,000 to Uribe, while working on the loan application, as a reward or gratuity for facilitating the loan's approval. Uribe accepted the bribe in connection with his approval of the loan, which was approved in August 2006 with a guarantee from Ex-Im Bank. Thereafter, loan proceeds in the amount of approximately $3.2 million were sent to a Texas equipment company, which subsequently transferred the money to the Mexican business owner. The Mexican business owner subsequently defaulted after two installment payments and, in September 2007, Ex-Im Bank paid a claim to Wells Fargo Bank of approximately $2.9 million.
According to court records, San Antonio business owner, Andrew Parker, President of San Antonio Trade Group, Inc., served as the broker and exporter of record for this loan to facilitate the exporting of the equipment to Mexico. Through San Antonio Trade Group, Parker devised and executed a massive scheme to defraud the U.S. through fraudulent loans guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank. In October 2008, Parker pled guilty to various charges and was sentenced to 117 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $10 million, according to a Department of Justice Press Release.
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 other 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