• November 28, 2020

Federal grand jury indicts five in connection to defrauding banks - Odessa American: Courts

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Federal grand jury indicts five in connection to defrauding banks

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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 5:29 pm

A press release from the Department of Justice detailed that federal authorities arrested three individuals charged in connection with a scheme to defraud several San Antonio financial institutions of more than $13 million.

The banks that were detailed in the indictment included SouthWest Bank, Bank of San Antonio and TransPecos Bank. The announcement came Tuesday afternoon from the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Texas.

Three San Antonio residents were reportedly arrested without incident — 48-year-old Ronald Wayne Schroeder, 58-year-old Jill Martin Alvarado and 78-year-old Phyllis Jo Martinez. Authorities in Del Rio arrested Alvarado’s 55-year-old husband, Rigo Alvarado, over the weekend, while Martinez’s 56-year-old son, Ryan Martinez, is currently in state prison on unrelated charges.

A six-count federal indictment unsealed Tuesday charges all five named above with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, the press release stated.

In addition, Schroeder, Jill Alvarado, Ryan Martinez and Phyllis Martinez are reportedly charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The indictment also charges Schroeder, Ryan Martinez and Phyllis Martinez with one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, the press release stated. Schroeder is also charged with three counts of bank fraud.

The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to defraud various financial institutions of money through the factoring of false and fraudulent invoices, the press release stated.

Schroeder reportedly sent false and fraudulent invoices of companies owned or controlled by the other defendants to be factored by the financial institutions. Schroeder and other co-conspirators would then use that money for their own personal enrichment or to pay off old invoices owed to the financial institutions much like a Ponzi scheme where money from new investors is used to pay old investors.

The indictment identifies three companies that are involved in the scheme, which includes Nerd Factory, which was owned by Ryan Martinez and later, Phyllis Martinez; Alvy’s Logistics, which is owned by Jill and Rigo Alvarado; and Republic Logistics, a fake company created and used by Schroeder to steal money for himself, the press release stated.

According to the indictment, false and fraudulent invoices from Nerd Factory were reportedly factored by Southwest Bank and then BOSA. That money would then be used by the owners of Nerd Factory, Ryan Martinez and later, Phyllis Martinez, for legal fees in a pending criminal federal case or as unearned profit.

Alvy’s Logistics and Nerd Factory also kicked back some of the money obtained to Schroeder, the press release stated.

In addition to using false and fraudulent invoices for actual companies, the indictment also reportedly alleges that Schroeder submitted false and fraudulent invoices on behalf of Republic Logistics to BOSA which were then paid by BOSA.

Schroeder used this money to, among other things, purchase high dollar goods such as cars, RVs, an airplane, boat, and beach house, the press release stated. The indictment further alleges that Schroeder initially began this practice while being funded by Southwest Bank. Schroeder fraudulently grew that portfolio until he was able to sell it all to BOSA.

The scheme reportedly continued and expanded while BOSA funded Schroeder. Schroeder also attempted to broker a subsequent deal whereby Trans Pecos Bank would purchase the fraudulent factored invoices.

Each bank fraud related charge is punishable for up to 30 years in federal prison; conspiracy to commit money laundering, up to 20 years in federal prison; and, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, up to 10 years in federal prison.

The FBI is conducting this ongoing investigation, while Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Blackwell is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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