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August 20, 2010
Media Contact: Office of Inspector General (202) 565-3908

The Office of Inspector General of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im OIG) announces that a Texas businessman and a co-conspirator have been indicted for money laundering and conspiring to defraud the Export-Import Bank of the United States (the Ex-Im Bank) of more than $950,000. An indictment is merely an allegation and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

On August 11, 2010, a federal grand jury in the Western District of Texas returned an 8-count indictment against Leopoldo Parra, 48, of El Paso, Texas, owner of Poma Tools and Industrial Supplies, a Texas-based equipment dealer, and Eduardo Rodriguez-Davalos, 47, a Mexican citizen residing in El Paso. The indictment alleges that Parra, Rodriguez and others defrauded Ex-Im Bank of more than $950,000 by engaging in fraudulent and fictitious loan transactions purportedly involving U.S. and Mexican companies.

The loan was issued by a U.S. bank located in Baltimore (the "Lender") and was guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank under Ex-Im Bank's medium-term Master Guarantee Agreement with the Lender. Parra, Rodriguez and their co-conspirators gave the Lender false documents stating that U.S. goods had been purchased by, and shipped to, Rodriguez in Mexico. By providing the false documents to the Lender, the defendants defrauded both the Lender and Ex-Im Bank.

On August 13, 2010, Parra and Rodriquez appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in El Paso and each was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and four counts of money laundering concealment. They are each facing up to 20 years in prison and fines equal to twice their gain, or $500,000, whichever is greater.

The case is being prosecuted by the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, and was investigated by the Ex-Im OIG, the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal-government agency, provides export financing that helps strengthen U.S. export competitiveness, and creates and maintains U.S. jobs. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including export-credit guarantees and insurance to protect against nonpayment by foreign borrowers that purchase U.S. exports.

The Ex-Im Bank OIG receives and investigates complaints and information concerning violations of law, rules or regulations, fraud against Ex-Im Bank, mismanagement, waste of funds and abuse of authority connected with the Bank’s programs and operations. Reports can be delivered:

In person:

Office of Inspector General
Export Import Bank of the US
811 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20571

By telephone:

1-866-571-1801 (hotline)

By mail:

Office of Inspector General Hotline
Export Import Bank of the US
811 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20571

By e-mail:

IGhotline@exim.gov