FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 9, 2005
Phil Cogan, (202) 565-3200
MIAMI, FLORIDA - A federal district court judge has sentenced a Bahamian man to a prison term of 18 months and ordered him to pay restitution of $723,000 for committing wire fraud in connection with a transaction supported by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), the Bank announced today.
United States District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan sentenced H. Garland Evans, of Nassau, Bahamas. Sentencing followed a jury trial convened in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida that found Mr. Evans guilty of committing wire fraud as part of a scheme to defraud Ex-Im Bank in connection with insurance coverage for shipments of produce from a U.S. exporter to Mr. Evan's company, JAGAR, located in the Bahamas.
This conviction should send a strong message to those who may be tempted to abuse the financing support offered by Ex-Im Bank, said Ex-Im Bank's Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Peter Saba. We take very seriously the integrity of our programs and the protection of taxpayer dollars. We applaud the work of the FBI and the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in prosecuting this case. We hope that the conviction and sentence handed down will discourage future conduct of this kind, Saba said.
Saba said that while the incidence of fraud involving Ex-Im Bank's programs is very low, the Bank vigorously pursues any instances of wrongdoing in coordination with the Department of Justice. By vigorously pursuing bad actors, we not only protect the American taxpayer but also protect the thousands of honest business people and companies that properly utilize our programs to support U.S. exports and the American jobs that they help create and sustain, Saba added.
Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, helps finance U.S. exports by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2004, Ex-Im Bank assisted in financing $17.8 billion of U.S. exports to markets around the world.
For more information, visit www.exim.gov.