Sixth Defendant Admits to Role in Bank Fraud Conspiracy
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Rhode Island:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Haverhill, MA, man today became the sixth defendant to admit his role in a wide-ranging scheme to defraud financial institutions in several states of more than $2.4 million dollars by obtaining and attempting to obtain car loans with the use of stolen personal identifying information of others and fraudulent documents, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Fernando Diaz, 34, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Diaz admitted that in December 2017, he used the stolen identity of a Connecticut resident to apply for and obtain a $50,000 personal loan from an online finance company. The proceeds were deposited into a TD Bank account opened with the use of the same stolen identity. Diaz and others withdrew the funds from the TD Bank account.
Additionally, Diaz admitted that in June 2019, he filed online applications for used car loans in the amounts of $35,000, $35,574, and $36,000, each time falsely representing that he sought to purchase a 2016 Porsche Cayenne. Each application was accompanied by counterfeit documents created by one or more members of the conspiracy, including a fraudulent Massachusetts Automobile Title and a fraudulent bill of sale.
Diaz becomes the sixth person convicted in U.S. District Court in Providence for their roles in the scheme. Among the defendants awaiting sentencing is a Massachusetts used car dealer, Roland E. Estrella, 33, of Dracut, MA., who admitted to being the leader of the conspiracy.
Estrella is scheduled to be sentenced on March 24, 2022. Diaz is scheduled to be sentenced on April 5, 2022.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.
The investigation into the fraud ring which operated throughout the northeast was conducted by the Social Security Office of Inspector General and the United States Secret Service.