Debt Collection Agency Executive Charged with Bribing Bank Officials
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 07, 2012|
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that Patrick Pinto, 44, of Bohemia, New York, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with conspiracy to commit bank bribery while he was an executive of Oxford Collection Agency. Pinto appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport and was released on a $50,000 bond.
According to the complaint and court documents filed in related cases, Oxford Collection Agency was a private financial services company that engaged in accounts receivables management, primarily debt collecting, with offices in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Between 2007 and 2011, Oxford Collection Agency executives engaged in a multi-year scheme to defraud its lender, Connecticut-based Webster Bank, as well as its investors, clients, and the commercial debtors that Oxford Collection Agency collected from.
The complaint against Pinto, a vice president of Oxford Collection Agency, alleges that Oxford Collection Agency executives also were engaged in a bribery scheme with an official at U.S. Bank in order to obtain and retain the business of U.S. Bank. As part of the scheme, Pinto and others at Oxford Collection Agency made monthly payments of between $2,500 and $5,000, which were hidden in cigar boxes, to the U.S. Bank official.
The complaint further alleges that Pinto and others also bribed an official at another bank. The bank official would come to Oxford Collection Agency’s offices on Fridays, meet with Pinto, and receive his payments.
U.S. Bank received funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
On May 11, 2012, Richard Pinto, Oxford Collection Agency’s chairman of the Board, and his son, Peter Pinto, Oxford’s president and chief executive officer, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering and to one count of wire fraud stemming from a $10 million fraud scheme they executed while executives at Oxford Collection Agency. They await sentencing.
Patrick Pinto is the son of Richard Pinto and the brother of Peter Pinto.
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that the investigation is ongoing.
U.S. Attorney Fein also stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); and the Connecticut Securities, Commodities, and Investor Fraud Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Brennan, Special U.S. Attorney John McReynolds, and Deputy U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly.
In December 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and several law enforcement and regulatory partners announced the formation of the Connecticut Securities, Commodities, and Investor Fraud Task Force, which is investigating matters relating to insider trading, market manipulation, Ponzi schemes, investor fraud, financial statement fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and embezzlement. The task force includes representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section and Antitrust Division; U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Office of the Chief State’s Attorney; State of Connecticut Department of Banking; Greenwich Police Department; and Stamford Police Department.
Citizens are encouraged to report any financial fraud schemes by calling, toll-free, 855-236-9740 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants.
To report financial fraud crimes, and to learn more about the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.