Disbarred Canadian Attorney Pleads Guilty to Unclaimed Funds Fraud Scheme in Cincinnati
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 26, 2013|
CINCINNATI—L. Gino Boggia, 63, of Quebec, Canada, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to engaging in a scheme to defraud a local bank in connection with dormant bank account funds.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation Cincinnati Field Office (FBI), announced the plea entered today before Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott.
According to court documents, Boggia is a disbarred Canadian attorney who engaged in two related fraud schemes in the Southern District of Ohio to attempt to fraudulently acquire funds of dormant, unclaimed bank accounts that have been escheated (turned over) to the state of Ohio by financial institutions.
In the first scheme in May 2003, Boggia falsely claimed to represent the account holder who was hospital-bound and in urgent need of surgery with life-threatening injuries. Further investigation found that the client Boggia claimed to represent had died 20 years earlier. In the second scheme, Boggia falsely claimed to represent a creditor of the account holder who was seeking to obtain a judgment against the account holder.
Like the first scheme, the attempted fraud was discovered before any funds were paid out. The amount of dormant account funds Boggia fraudulently attempted to obtain in this second scheme, which included the amount the dormant funds plus claimed accrued interest over several years, totaled $1,310,670.06.
Boggia was indicted in Cincinnati in 2007. He was extradited from Canada earlier this year following completion of a sentence there on similar charges.
Boggia pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. The plea agreement includes an agreed to sentence of 60 months’ incarceration. The agreed sentence also proposes to resolve a pending supervised release violation arising out of Boggia’s prior federal conviction in 2001 for a similar fraud in the Southern District of California. Boggia also agrees to pay restitution of $247,159.25, representing the loss caused by Boggia’s conduct in a similar scheme in Pennsylvania. The court will review the plea agreement before making a decision on whether or not to accept the terms.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by the FBI and Senior Litigation Counsel Anne Porter, who is representing the United States in the case.