Three Charged in Fraud Scheme
HOUSTON—Stefano Guido Vitale, 39, Alan Leschyshyn, 51, and Bree Ann Davis, 38, have been arrested following the return of a federal indictment alleging a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and a conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
The indictment alleges the scheme produced approximately $2.5 million in fraudulently obtained proceeds which the defendants agreed to launder through various bank accounts. The defendants are accused of using and establishing various business entities during their scheme to sell, at a discount, nonexistent commercial accounts receivable.
They allegedly approached factoring companies as sellers of customized gaming vault bundles and presented fabricated invoices as evidence the defendants were owed a certain amount of money for goods provided to another one of their business entities. To establish creditworthiness of these companies and to convince the factoring company the credit risk was minimal, documents were fabricated and/or altered and provided to the factoring company by the defendants, according to the charges.
“Engaging in financial transactions comprised of criminally derived funds in order to conceal the true nature and source of the proceeds is money laundering,” said Lucy Cruz, special agent in charge of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “We will continue to work with our federal law enforcement partners to investigate those who engage in fraudulent conduct.”
Vitale and Leschyshyn, of Scottsdale and Cave Creek, Ariz., respectively, will make their initial appearances in Phoenix, while Davis, of Lakewood, Colo., will appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in Denver. They are expected to make appearances in Houston in the near future.
If convicted, they each face up to 20 years in federal prison on each charge.
The criminal investigation was conducted by IRS-CI and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.