SAN JUAN, P.R. – On July 10, FBI agents arrested Ana Luisa Martín-Alfaro who is facing 34 counts of bank fraud, announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, W. Stephen Muldrow. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was in charge of the investigation of the case.
The indictment alleges that, starting in or around the year 2013, defendant Martín-Alfaro did knowingly and with intent to defraud, devise a scheme and artifice to obtain monies under the custody and control of Banco Popular, Santander Bank, FirstBank Puerto Rico, TD Bank, Oriental Bank, and USAA Federal Savings Bank, all financial institutions whose deposits were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, and by omission of material facts. Martin-Alfaro materially misrepresented the purpose of payments and required monies be paid by various clients through their financial institutions to corporate accounts she controlled.
Martín-Alfaro promoted herself as someone who could assist individuals, entities, or non-profit organizations to navigate the process of securing federal grants to build assisted-living facilities and low-income housing in Puerto Rico. She falsely represented to potential clients that she was certified by federal government agencies to receive filing fees and disbursements required to complete grant applications and she would deposit these payments in accounts belonging to organizations under her custody and control, such as “Federal Funds Organization, Inc.,” “International Federal Faith Based Consultants” and “Educational Service Corp.,” “Federal Consulting Service Corp.,” and “Community Helpers, Inc.”
The defendant falsely represented to potential clients the fact that these organizations were not associated with her. She also made the following material omissions to potential clients who were unaware that: these organizations were created by her; that she had sole custody and control of the bank accounts belonging to these organizations; and that she would use these funds for transactions unrelated to the grant writing process.
Defendant Martín-Alfaro falsely represented that funds were deposited in federal government accounts, that the accounts that she had access to were audited by the federal government, and that the funds were to be used exclusively for the grant application process. Instead, Martín-Alfaro used funds from clients to support her personal lifestyle. She withdrew cash, and spent it on retail, food, travel, entertainment, and auto expenses. She also used funds from clients to promote and perpetuate the scheme to defraud by paying for office expenses, utilities, and a limited amount for project expenses to deceive her clients into believing that the grant application process would be ultimately successful.
Martín-Alfaro is facing a forfeiture allegation of $779,135.00. If convicted, Martín-Alfaro could face a maximum penalty of 30 years of imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward G. Veronda is in charge of the prosecution of the case.
Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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