Debt Collection Agency Executive Who Bribed Bank Official Sentenced
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 09, 2013|
Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Patrick Pinto, 45, of Bohemia, New York, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to two years of probation, the first six months of which Pinto must spend in home confinement, for bribing an executive of U.S. Bank. Pinto also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Oxford Collection Agency (Oxford) 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 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 collected from. Oxford’s victims lost more than $12 million as a result of this scheme.
The investigation also revealed that Oxford sometimes obtained and retained business with its banking clients by paying bribes and kickbacks to bank officials. As part of the scheme, Pinto, a vice president of Oxford, and other Oxford executives made monthly payments of between $2,500 and $3,500, which were hidden in cigar boxes, to an assistant vice president of U.S. Bank in Ohio. The bank official received at least $24,000 in bribes from Oxford.
U.S. Bank and Webster Bank received funds through the U.S. Department of the Treasury Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Pinto was arrested on December 7, 2012. On June 17, 2013, he waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit bank bribery.
In May 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 one count of wire fraud stemming from this scheme. In December 2012, Oxford Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer Randall Silver, Executive Vice President Charles Harris, and Chief Operations Officer Carlos Novelli also pleaded guilty to various charges.
On January 30, 2013, Richard Pinto, who is now deceased, was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment. The other defendants await sentencing.
Patrick Pinto is the son of the late Richard Pinto.
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 and Special U.S. Attorney John McReynolds.