Darien man, partner sentenced in bank fraud
Published 6:07 am, Thursday, June 15, 2017
Two men, including one from Darien, were sentenced Wednesday for their involvement in a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud banks participating in a USDA-backed export program.
Calderon was given five months of imprisonment and five months of home confinement. Lillemoe was sentenced to a 15-month jail term.
Hall also ordered both men to serve a three-year term of supervised release, and to pay 18 million in restitution and forfeit more than $1.5 million in what federal officials called “ill-gotten gains”
On Nov. 9, 2016, a federal jury convicted the two of conspiracy and fraud charges.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Calderon and Lillemoe submitted fraudulent documents to two U.S. banks in connection with a USDA loan guarantee program that provides credit guarantees to encourage financing of commercial exports of American agricultural products.
The GSM-102 program guarantees credit extended by U.S. financial institutions to approved foreign banks. As part of the program, the Commodity Credit Corporation enters into payment guarantees to encourage U.S. exports.
Federal officials said Calderon and Lillemoe filed altered documents under the program to secure loans and collect fees on the transactions.
Between September 2007 and January 2012, Calderon, Lillemoe and others defrauded various U.S. financial institutions by presenting false and altered shipping documents, including altered bills of ladingto securing funding on loans guaranteed by the program.
As part of the scheme, Calderon and Lillemoe established multiple entities with separate names for the purpose of obtaining a greater share of the allocation of guarantees from the program. They also used multiple bank accounts to further create the appearance that the entities were operating as separate and unrelated entities.
The two then, in various ways, paid for, or otherwise acquired, bills of lading and other shipping documents for shipments of agricultural products that they did not physically ship.
The scheme also involved fraudulent documents to obtain millions of dollars from U.S. banks in connection with the program, and then provided the funds to the foreign banks in exchange for a percentage fee for themselves and their various entities.
Although the foreign banks were contractually obligated to repay the funds to the U.S. by virtue of the letters of credit issued to the U.S. financial institutions, in a number of instances, the banks failed to do so.
Nevertheless, Calderon, Lillemoe and their various entities retained more than $2.2 million in fees they had collected in connection with the transactions and in some instances, sent a portion of those fees to various financial backers in places such as Singapore.
The foreign banks defaulted on more than $25 million of the many loans guaranteed as a result of Calderon and Lillemoe scheme.