The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas has announced two convictions resulting from a plan to defraud a lender out of millions of dollars, following indictments earlier this month.
Former USA Dry Van Logistics executives Aurelio “Jim” Aleman and Oscar Barbosa have been convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Aleman is the former chief operations officer of Texas-based USA Dry Van Logistics, a cross-border trucking company that services the maquiladora industry (manufacturing operations in the free-trade zone). Barbosa is the former controller of the company.
Prosecutors say Aleman and Sergio Lagos, the former chief executive officer of USADV, entered into a financing agreement with GE Capital Corporation under which GECC would issue a revolving line of credit which was secured by USADV’s accounts receivables. By January 2010, the maximum borrowing limit under the agreement was increased to $38 million..
Aleman and Barbosa admitted that from March 2008 through the end of January 2010, they joined in a scheme by fraudulently obtaining funds through a revolving line of credit. At the plea hearing, Aleman and Barbosa admitted they schemed to conceal from GECC the truth about USADV’s declining operating performance and financial results. This caused USADV to appear to be operating more profitably that it actually was.
Aleman and Barbosa signed, prepared or directed others to prepare certificates that falsely inflated the amount of the company’s accounts receivables and caused them to be submitted to GECC to enable USADV to obtain more funds than would otherwise have been permitted. Aleman and Barbosa also then attempted to defraud GECC by directing other employees to manually invoice millions of dollars of fraudulent receivables to inflate the borrowing base and to create false and forged invoices and support documentation for accounts receivables that did not exist. They also admitted to submitting false financial statements to auditors and GECC.
When the truth about USADV’s operations and finances were revealed, USADV went into bankruptcy. It successfully re-organized and is currently operating with new owners. Lagos, Aleman and Barbosa are no longer affiliated with or employed by the company. The amount of actual loss to GECC was more than $26 million.
As a condition of the their plea agreements, both Aleman and Barbosa agreed to make monthly payments towards restitution to GECC prior to sentencing. In Aleman’s plea agreement, he further agreed to the imposition of a money judgment against him in the amount of more than $26.2 million, which was ordered to be forfeited to the United States.
Sentencing for Aleman and Barbosa is set for December 9, at which time they face up 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. The charges against Lagos remain pending.
USA Dry Van Logistics in not connected with Arkansas-based USA Truck.