Bronx Man Pleads Guilty to ID Theft, Bank Fraud

Date: 
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Office Affiliation: 

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

PROVIDENCE – A Bronx, N.Y., man appeared in federal court in Providence today and admitted to his role in various stolen identity and bank fraud schemes and conspiracies that bilked banks, finance companies, car dealerships, and others in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and elsewhere out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Angel L. Morales, 52, is one of ten individuals charged in a series of indictments, informations, and criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Providence for their alleged participation in one or more conspiracies where individuals used stolen personal identifying information to open credit union accounts online and bank accounts in person at various bank branch offices, obtained auto loans using fraudulent documentation, and then quickly withdrew the funds prior to banks discovering the fraudulent activity.

Morales is among six individuals named in a 32-count superseding indictment returned on February 6, 2019. The indictment charges Morales with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and three counts of bank fraud. Appearing today before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Morales pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

Morales admitted that as a participant in the conspiracy, he opened bank accounts at various bank branch offices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts using stolen personal identifying information provided to him by other members of the conspiracy. Proceeds from fraudulently obtained car loans obtained by others with the use of fraudulent sales documents and vehicle titles were electronically deposited into accounts opened by Morales. Morales and others quickly withdrew the funds prior to banks discovering the schemes.

According to court documents, investigations 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 Postal Inspection Service, East Providence, Warwick, and Pawtucket, R.I., Police Departments, Seekonk and Mansfield, Mass., Police Departments; and the Rhode Island State Police, have determined that the defendants, many known to one another, allegedly participated in various schemes to steal and use individuals’ personal identifying information to defraud banks, credit unions, finance companies, and retailers of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

Morales traveled to the Dominican Republic in September 2018, shortly after federal agents executed search warrants at the New Jersey apartment of one of his alleged co-conspirators. Morales returned to the United States on March 30, 2019, and was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after arriving on a flight from the Dominican Republic.

Morales, who has been detained in federal custody since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced on November 19, 2019.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William J. Ferland and Zachary A. Cunha.