FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 10, 2007
Ex-Im Bank: Phil Cogan, (202) 565-3200 - Justice Department: Bryan Sierra or Jaclyn Lesch, (202) 514-2007
WASHINGTON, DC --- The Justice Department announced today that eight individuals have been charged in connection with an $80 million conspiracy to commit fraud against the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The scheme, also revealed in court papers unsealed today, involved the fraudulent sale and shipment of U.S. exports to the Philippines.
We will not tolerate fraudulent use of Ex-Im Bank financing, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. With the help of the Justice Department, we will continue to pursue anyone attempting to rip off the taxpayer.
The scheme was initially uncovered by Ex-Im Bank staff. After the Bank's preliminary investigation the matter was referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The pleas are the result of an extensive investigation conducted jointly by the Justice Department, FBI, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service with the assistance of Ex-Im Bank, said General Counsel Howard Schweitzer, and we will continue to work together as the investigation progresses.
Five of the charged individuals have pleaded guilty; four are exporters, and one is a freight-forwarder. The defendants have all agreed to serve time in prison, with maximum sentences of up to 40 years. All five are U.S. citizens. They also have agreed to a range of forfeiture of cash or property.
Three plea agreements were unsealed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia involving defendants Daniel Curran, 52, of Boynton Beach, Fla.; Edward Chua, 55, of Montebello, Calif.; and David Villongco, 51, of San Mateo, Calif. Curran and Chua pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and mail fraud. Villongco pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims and mail fraud.
Defendant Jaime Galvez, 51, of Redondo Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2007, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to destruction or concealment of records in a criminal investigation and perjury. On the same day Christina Song, 49, of Whittier, Calif. was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and mail fraud.
Robert Delgado, 46, of Fremont, Calif. pleaded guilty on Nov. 17, 2006, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims and mail fraud.
Additional defendants have been charged, including Marilyn G. Ong, 51, and her nephew Ildefonso Ong Jr., 43, both from Manila, Philippines. The Ongs were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to commit offenses against the United States; four counts of submitting false statements to Ex-Im Bank; four counts of mail fraud; and nine counts of money laundering. The indictment also charged Marilyn Ong with obstructing Ex-Im Bank's investigation of the fraudulent scheme.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to markets around the world, through export credit insurance, loan guarantees, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2006, Ex-Im Bank authorized over $12.1 billion in transactions supporting an estimated $16.1 billion in U.S. exports worldwide. More information about Ex-Im Bank is available at www.exim.gov.