PROVIDENCE, RI – A man from Haverhill, MA, today became the sixth accused to admit his role in a massive scheme to defraud financial institutions in several states of more than $ 2.4 million by obtaining and attempting to obtain auto loans with the use of stolen personal identifying information and fraudulent documents, announced US Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Fernando Diaz, 34, pleaded guilty in US District Court in Providence to conspiring to commit bank fraud.
Diaz admitted that in December 2017, he used the stolen identity of a Connecticut resident to apply for and obtain a $ 50,000 personal loan from an online finance company. The product was deposited into an opened TD Bank account using the same stolen identity. Diaz and others withdrew the funds from the TD Bank account.
Further, Diaz admitted that in June 2019 he filed for used car loans online in the amount of $ 35,000, $ 35,574 and $ 36,000, each time falsely representing that he was looking to buy a 2016 Porsche Cayenne. Each claim was accompanied by forged documents created by one or more conspiracy members, including a fraudulent Massachusetts auto title and a fraudulent bill of sale.
Diaz becomes the sixth person convicted by the United States District Court in Providence for his role in the scheme. Among the defendants awaiting conviction is Massachusetts used car dealer Roland E. Estrella, 33, of Dracut, MA, who admitted to being the leader of the conspiracy.
Estrella is slated to be sentenced on March 24, 2022. Diaz is slated to be sentenced on April 5, 2022.
The case is being pursued by Assistant US Attorney William J. Ferland.
The investigation into the fraud ring that operated throughout the Northeast was conducted by the Inspector General’s Office of Social Security and the United States Secret Service.