McALLEN, Texas – Three more individuals have been charged in connection with a long-running scheme to defraud a financial institution in a scheme to obtain car loans in the Rio Grande Valley, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
A federal grand jury returned the superseding indictment under seal Oct. 22 against Jorge Garza, 46, San Antonio; Samuel Sanchez, 55, McAllen; and Soundra Lopez, 52, Weslaco. It was unsealed in its entirety today as authorities arrested Sanchez. He is expected to make his initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Juan Alanis this morning. Garza and Lopez appeared in federal court last week following their arrests and were permitted release upon posting bond pending further criminal proceedings.
The three are charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Sanchez and Lopez allegedly provided materially false information to County and Municipal Employee’s Credit Union (CMECU) regarding borrower creditworthiness in order to fund motor vehicle purchases. Garza, Sanchez and Lopez caused CMECU to fund approximately $2,287,720 in fraudulent loans, according to the superseding indictment.
Three car dealership employees were previously charged in relation to this scheme - Ronnie Joe Gomez, 44, Pharr; David Salinas, 45, McAllen; and Jorge Villanueva 51, San Antonio.
Gomez and Salinas are charged with wire fraud, while Villanueva is charged with wire fraud against a financial institution. Garza, Sanchez and Lopez are all charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Gomez and Salinas face up to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine, while the remaining defendants could receive a maximum 30-year prison term and up to a $1 million potential fine, upon conviction.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances E. Blake is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
McALLEN, Texas - A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against three former car dealership employees for participating in a long-running scheme to defraud companies, including financial institutions, in connection with car loans in the Rio Grande Valley area, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Law enforcement arrested Ronnie Joe Gomez, 44, of Pharr, David Salinas, 44, of McAllen, and George Villanueva 50, of San Antonio, today. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby this afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
The indictment, returned June 18, 2019, was unsealed today upon their arrests.
The three are each charged with wire fraud. According to the indictment, the defendants devised a scheme to defraud financial institutions by submitting falsified proof of their customers’ income to purchase motor vehicles.
If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frances E. Blake and David A. Lindenmuth are prosecuting the case.
A indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.