Bank Insider pleads guilty to bank bribery for facilitating multi-million dollar wire fraud scheme | USAO-SDNY

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that earlier in the day, LUIS RIVAS pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank bribes in connection with a business email compromise scheme that has defrauded multi-million dollar businesses. RIVAS was the seventh person charged in this international scheme.

US Attorney Damian Williams said: “Bank clerk Luis Rivas used his inside knowledge and access to bank accounts opened for bogus companies so his co-conspirators could receive and launder millions of dollars from victims. who had been deceived. Now, Rivas is rightly held accountable for his crime. Today’s guilty plea reflects this Office’s commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who abuse positions of trust in institutions. funds to engage in criminal acts of corruption.

According to the indictment and other public documents and proceedings in the case:

From at least in or around 2018 until at least in or around May 2020, LUIS RIVAS, who at the time of the infringement was a financial sales consultant at a Houston branch of a national bank, agreed to accept payments in exchange for helping other people open business bank accounts for fake companies. These bank accounts were then used to receive over $2.2 million in fraud proceeds. The money came from a business email compromise scheme in which companies were defrauded by co-conspirators who impersonated, via email, individuals and businesses in otherwise ordinary financial transactions , thereby fraudulently tricking victims into transferring funds to bank accounts that the perpetrators controlled. The names of the fake companies used for the bank accounts that RIVAS helped open were deliberately chosen to reflect the names of the real counterparties in these business transactions.

RIVAS also helped perpetrators access and launder fraud proceeds. In particular, RIVAS has helped unlock, transfer and withdraw money in transactions designed to conceal and disguise the source, ownership and control of funds.

RIVAS typically received between $500 and $1,500 for each account it helped open and each transaction it provided assistance with. He received, in total, approximately $45,000 for his corrupt insider services.

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RIVAS, 36, of Houston, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank bribes, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. As part of his guilty plea, RIVAS agreed to forfeit $45,000 to the United States.

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as RIVAS’ sentence will be determined by the judge. RIVAS is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel on March 21, 2023.

Mr. Williams praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations for their investigative efforts and their continued support and assistance in the case.

This case is being prosecuted by the Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. Assistant US Attorney Emily Deininger is in charge of the prosecution.

Donald E. Patel