SAN JUAN, P.R. – On Monday, August 31, 2020, defendant, Gary Steven Wykle and Alejandro Cortés-López were arrested and charged in a fourteen-count indictment alleging Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Securities Fraud, and Wire Fraud, announced today W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The FBI was in charge of the investigation.
Gary Steven Wyckle and Alejandro Cortés-López were, respectively, the President and Executive Vice President of The Republic Group, Inc. From in or about 2010, through 2017, Wyckle, and Cortés-López, along with other individuals known and unknown to the Grand Jury, raised over $12,000,000 in so-called Promissory Notes on behalf of The Republic Group, Inc.
Defendants Wyckle and Cortés-López solicited investors in person, via telephone, and via the internet, and caused materially false and misleading representations to be made to investors. Wyckle and Cortés-López falsely stated to investors that their investment would facilitate high-interest rate, short-term loans for various companies, including hotels, resorts, and other hospitality industries in the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere. The defendants failed to disclose to investors that investments would be used for Wyckle’s personal expenses, goods and services at retail stores, restaurants, travel, rent, entertainment, and to make lulling payments to existing investors. Defendant Cortés-López was paid a commission, which he failed to disclose, from each investor that he brought to The Republic Group, Inc.
“The defendants’ alleged conduct undermines the confidence investors place in the financial markets,” said U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. “Financial markets are governed by rules that are supposed to protect investors. These defendants, skilled at convincing individuals to place their trust in them, engaged in a ‘Ponzi’ scheme to defraud investors, and ultimately cost them millions of dollars. We will investigate and prosecute these types of crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”
“When people lose trust in the systems, society crumbles. This is why the FBI is committed to staying ahead of this threat, by following the evidence wherever it may lead and pursuing these cases to the fullest extent of the law,” said Rafael Riviere Vázquez, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI.
Investors who believe they are victims of Gary Steven Wykle and Alejandro Cortés-López, and who signed contracts with them or The Republic Group, Inc., are encouraged to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (787) 766-5656, to obtain information about the proceedings and their rights to restitution.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward Veronda. Both defendants are facing a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, and a fine not to exceed $1,000,000.
An indictment is only an accusation and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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