Plastic Surgeon Edgardo Colón Ledée and His Sister, Attorney Astrid Colón Ledée , Indicted and Arrested
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 16, 2009|
SAN JUAN, PR—Today, plastic surgeon Edgardo Colón Ledée and his sister, attorney Astrid Colón Ledée were arrested on bankruptcy fraud charges, announced U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.
On April 1st, 2009, a grand jury returned an eight-count indictment charging Edgardo Colón Ledée and his sister Astrid Colón Ledée with conspiracy to conceal assets and fraudulent transfers, fraudulent transfers, money laundering and concealment of assets from the bankruptcy trustee, creditors, and the United States Trustee, in the case of Edgardo Colón Ledée, debtor under Title 11, United States Code, namely, In re Edgardo Colón Ledée, No. 03-05547 (GAC), in the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Puerto Rico.
Defendant Edgardo Colón Ledée, with the help of Astrid Colón Ledée, his sister and a bankruptcy attorney, filed a Voluntary Petition for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on May 28th, 2003. According to the law, upon filing of a bankruptcy petition, the debtor is required to fully disclose his interest in all assets. Assets include real and personal property, tangible and intangible property, whether or not the asset is held in the debtor’s name or held in the name of another person or identity on behalf of the debtor. Edgardo Colón Ledée and Astrid Colón Ledée, as his sister and a bankruptcy attorney, conspired to make false statements in the bankruptcy documents to conceal his assets and financial condition, transferred assets to hide them from the trustee and the creditors, and further laundered profits obtained from said illegal diversion of assets.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico will continue to investigate and prosecute cases involving bankruptcy fraud”, said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “Financial crimes or as commonly known, white collar crime, is in most, if not all cases, punishable by imprisonment, fines or both; and we will continue prosecuting these kind of cases to the full extent of the law.”
“The U.S. Trustee Program is the component of the U.S. Department of Justice that protects the integrity of the bankruptcy system by overseeing case administration and litigating to enforce the bankruptcy laws,” said Assistant U.S. Trustee, Monsita Lecaroz. “The U.S. Trustee Program commends the FBI and the Office of the U.S. Attorney for their investigation and prosecution of this bankruptcy debtor, and for their interest and assistance in the pursuit of fraud and abuse in bankruptcy cases filed in Puerto Rico.”
"I would like to remind the public the primary purpose of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is to dismiss certain debts in order to give the individual who is in severe financial debt or difficulty a fresh start," said Luis Fraticelli, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI-San Juan Field Office. "Our economy is currently in a recession which is financially affecting all of us. However, anyone who deliberately takes advantage of these federal bankruptcy laws by providing false and misleading information will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This type of crime is no different from any other federal crime."The penalty for the charges against Astrid Colón-Ledée is a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years and a maximum fine of $250,000 dollars. For Edgardo Colón-Ledée, the maximum penalty is twenty (20) years and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the amount of the money laundered.
The case was investigated by FBI agents with the assistance of Monsita Lecaroz-Arribas, Assistant U.S. Trustee, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Walsh under the supervision of Assistant U.S. Attorney Desirée Laborde-Sanfiorenzo, Chief of the White Collar Unit.