WASHINGTON, July 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced that on July 29, 2013, Judge Philip R. Martinez, U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division, sentenced Osvaldo Kuchle-Lopez for his role in a scheme to defraud Ex-Im Bank of approximately $3.21 million.
Federal law enforcement agents arrested Kuchle, a ranch owner in Mexico, on February 17, 2010 as he crossed the border into the United States. Kuchle subsequently pleaded guilty on October 8, 2010, to one count of conspiracy in connection with a scheme to defraud Ex-Im Bank. In addition to a term of six-months of time served and 24 months supervised release, Kuchle was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. Since his arrest in 2010, Kuchle has paid $2.9 million in restitution to Ex-Im Bank.
According to court documents, Kuchle admitted that between 2003 and 2004, he acted as the buyer in a fraudulent Ex-Im Bank insured loan. Kuchle admitted that he and others entered into a conspiracy and scheme to defraud a lending bank and Ex-Im Bank to obtain and misappropriate loan proceeds for personal use rather than to purchase and export U.S. manufactured products into Mexico. Kuchle admitted that he and others conspired to make false statements about the purchase of U.S. manufactured equipment, supplied false invoices, and falsified other records to fraudulently represent to the lending bank and Ex-Im Bank the purchase and export of U.S. goods to various buyers in Mexico.
The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division. The case was investigated by the Ex-Im Bank Office of Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigations in El Paso, and Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal 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 agency 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