New York Man Sentenced in Rhode Island Based Bank Fraud Conspiracy

Date: 
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island:

PROVIDENCE – A New York man who admitted to participating in a conspiracy to defraud banks while working at the direction of the ring-leader of a multi-state fraud ring based in Rhode Island was sentenced on Tuesday to 36 months in federal prison.

Angel L. Morales, 52, of New York, N.Y, previously admitted to the Court that he and others used stolen personal identifying information to open bank accounts as part of a scheme to obtain fraudulent car loans. Once funds from the loans were obtained, Morales deposited the funds into bank accounts he and others opened, quickly withdrawing the money before the bank issuing the loans discovered the fraudulent nature of the transactions.

Morales pleaded guilty on September 3, 2019, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and three counts of bank fraud. He was sentenced on Tuesday to 36 months in federal prison to be followed by 3 years supervised release. Morales was also ordered to pay $116,000 restitution to the banks he defrauded.

Morales’ sentence, imposed by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman; Stephen Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service; and Scott E. Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations.

Octavio Andres Difo-Castro, 28, of Brooklyn, New York, who previously admitted to the Court that he employed and directed several individuals, including Morales, and provided them with the stolen personal identifying information used in the fraud scheme, pleaded guilty on September 19, 2019, to one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to access device fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and nineteen counts of wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 13, 2020.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha.

The investigations were led by the U.S. Secret Service, with the assistance of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman acknowledges and thanks the United States Postal Inspection Service and the East Providence, Seekonk and Mansfield Police Departments for their assistance in the investigation.