Saturday, August 4, 2007
The former president of E.S. Bankest, a south Florida factoring company, received a twenty-year term of imprisonment for convictions for a decade-long bank fraud and money laundering scheme that resulted in over $164 million in losses to the Espirito Santo Bank, a Portuguese bank. According to a press release (here) issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida:
[The defendant] was convicted of 39 felony counts, including bank fraud, wire fraud, money-laundering, conspiracy and submitting false statements to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Evidence at trial showed that E.S. Bankest, a factoring company in the business of funding clients secured by clients’ accounts receivable, borrowed multi-millions of dollars of money from Espirito Santo Bank clients based on fraud, including fabricated accounts receivable; Espirito Santo Group eventually took the debt positions of the clients, and absorbed the loss. The indictment charged a conspiracy from approximately June, 1994, until August, 2003, when an examiner was appointed by the federal court to look into the affairs of the company, which collapsed.
According to a Miami Herald article (here) on the sentencing, "[T]he judge said he based the sentence on the severity of the crime and a wish to have it serve as a deterrent to other white-collar crime." The defendant is 62, so this is virtually a life sentence. (ph)