Onebanc Borrower Indicted in $1.5 Million Bank Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 15, 2013|
LITTLE ROCK—Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas; Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Nashville Field Office; Howard S. Marshall, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP), announced that an Indictment charging Alberto Solaroli, age 59, of Jacksonville, Florida, with one count of bank fraud was unsealed November 14, 2013. The indictment also seeks $1.5 million in forfeiture. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
“As the financial institutions recover from the economic downturn, our investigative partners on the Financial Fraud Task Force are closely scrutinizing irregularities in loan transactions to determine if deceit is involved,” stated Thyer. "If it is, those who circumvent a lender’s loan requirements through fraud will have to face justice and a substantial prison sentence.”
“Bank fraud burdens lenders with bad loans and weakens our economy. Today’s indictment is strong reminder of the seriousness of these crimes,” said Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Individuals who engage in this type of financial fraud should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable.”
“The charge against Mr. Solaroli for defrauding OneBanc is the result of a strong collaborative effort among partners,” stated Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Howard Marshall. “We will continue to work together with the goal of bringing Mr. Solaroli to Arkansas to answer these allegations.”
Solaroli, a Canadian citizen purporting to be the owner of patents for technology related to a more efficient combustion engine, was living and working in Jacksonville, Florida, when he borrowed $1.5 million, via a personal line of credit, from OneBanc in April 2007. He was approved for the loan based on financial statement he signed in which he claimed assets of $170,900,000 with a net worth of more than $169 million. According to the indictment, Solaroli falsified the nature and scope of his assets, the value of his assets, and his overall personal net worth. As a result of his sworn financial statement, Solaroli received a one-year line of credit that he took within the first month of the loan approval, with over $900,000 being paid to Porche Motorsport N.A. Solaroli never made a single payment on the loan, causing OneBanc to sue Solaroli. In 2008, OneBanc received a civil judgment in Florida for $1.5 million, which Solarioli has not paid.
The maximum sentence for bank fraud is not more than 30 years’ imprisonment, not more than a $1,000,000 fine, and/or not more than five years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by special agents from the IRS-Criminal Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, SIGTARP, Federal Reserve, and the FDIC. The case is prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Pat Harris and Assistant United States Attorney Angela Jegley.
According to TARP records, One Financial Corporation, the parent company of One Bank and Trust of Little Rock, Arkansas, received $17.3 million in federal taxpayer funds through the U.S. Department of the Treasury Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in June 2009. To date, these funds are still outstanding.
This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
The charges set forth in an indictment are merely allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.