Laredo man charged with kickback/accounting fraud scheme
LAREDO, Texas – A 46-year-old Laredo resident has been charged for stealing money from an automobile financing company through a kickback and accounting fraud scheme, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Authorities arrested Roberto Montiel today. He is expected to make his initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow in Laredo.
A federal grand jury returned the 12-count indictment March 18 which was unsealed today. It alleges Montiel misused his position as general manager of the company to sell vehicles that the company had repossessed. He allegedly sold them at prices below their market value in exchange for receiving a kickback from the buyer.
According to the indictment, Montiel also entered false information into the company’s accounting system and manipulated accounting records to inflate the company’s profitability and assets. This allegedly enabled him to hide the losses his scheme caused. He also allegedly received bonuses and commissions he was only entitled to receive if the company was profitable.
If convicted, Montiel faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine on each count of conviction.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin R. Martin 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.