Man Found Guilty of Falsification of Bank Records and Straw Buyer Scheme

Allison Tussey —  May 6, 2009 — 4 Comments

Juan Rangel, 45, a Mexican national who ran an investment scheme that targeted the Hispanic community in East Los Angeles, was found guilty of bribing a bank manager to falsify bank records and release holds on millions of dollars in checks that he deposited at the banks.  Rangel was convicted of bribing a bank official, conspiring to falsify bank records and two counts of falsifying bank reports.

The evidence presented during a week-long trial in United States District Court in Los Angeles showed that Rangel secretly paid a branch manager at Bank of America to falsify bank documents – documents that he later used to induce lending companies to approve mortgages for “straw borrowers” who were not actually buying the properties. As a result, lending companies approved more than $1 million in loans. Rangel also paid the branch manager for other special services at the bank, including releasing holds that the bank was putting on checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars that he regularly deposited. Rangel also asked the bank manager not to file Currency Transaction Reports with the government, which are required by law for all cash transactions over $10,000.

Rangel owned and operated Financial Plus Investments, which was based in Commerce, California. According to court documents, Financial Plus advertised heavily in Spanish-language media, such as the Rangel-backed magazine “Si,” on radio and television, and Spanish-language flyers. One of the flyers advertised Financial Plus Investment’s programs, promising investors a 100 percent annual return on their investments. The advertisements assured potential investors that investments were protected and explained that their money would be backed by “titles of property.” Former Financial Plus employees, as well as investor victims, estimate that there were between 600 to 800 investors in Financial Plus. The company closed its doors on July 25, 2008.

As a result of the guilty verdict, Rangel faces a statutory maximum sentence of 95 years in federal prison. Rangel is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge George H. King on August 3, 2009.

The case against Rangelis part of an ongoing criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and IRS-Criminal lnvestigation.

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Allison Tussey

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4 responses to Man Found Guilty of Falsification of Bank Records and Straw Buyer Scheme

  1. A Juan Rangel might be the same one in California also stole ebay accounts and sold imaginary merchindise. He still owes me a laptop I spent 1500 usd. So add internet fraud and ID theft to his rap sheet.

  2. Bank of America falsifies records May 26, 2010 at 12:35 am

    On 5/24/2010, we called Bank of America regarding a short sale offer. They said that the last activity on the account was entered on 4/22/2010.

    On 5/25/2010, we called Bank of America Short Sales Department again. This time, they said that the last activity on the account was entered on 4/27/2010.

    They say that they emailed my realtor on those dates but my realtor never received the emails! It seems the bank is able to falsify the records on Equator and then go back and say whatever they want.

    The bank seems to be wanting to drag out the short sale proceedings. We have already re-initiated the short sale at least 3 times now! The bank does not seem to want to finalize the short sale before this fiscal year ends — they seem to desire to keep this out of their financial statements.

  3. My dad did some business with Rangel . I’m glad they didnt get my father involved. Amen!

  4. This guy stole all of my money. He would pull up to the office in his Lamborghini Gallardo with personal plates “Juan 007” I will show up to his sentencing and express to the judge how he ripped me off of my life savings. Throw the book at him.

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