Accountant from Jal Sentenced to Prison, on Fraud and Identity Theft Convictions

Accountant from Jal Sentenced to Prison, on Fraud and Identity Theft Convictions

 Roger L. Baeza, an accountant from Jal, New Mexico, has been sentenced to 61 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his conviction on securities fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft charges. Baeza also was ordered to pay $501,927.10 in restitution to the victims of his crimes.

In October 2012, Baeza was charged in an 81 count indictment that alleged 78 counts of securities fraud, one count of access device fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. According to the indictment, Baeza defrauded two Jal-based businesses, Lea Energy Services LLC, and Fulfer Oil & Cattle Company LCC, of more than $500,000 between June 2010 and February 2012, while he was employed as the in-house accountant by the owners of the two businesses.

In June 2013, Baeza pleaded guilty to all but one count of the indictment, an aggravated identity theft charge. In his plea agreement, Baeza admitted that from June 2010 to February 2012, he embezzled approximately $311,960.08 from his employers’ companies by issuing checks on company accounts for cash or for goods and services for his personal use. Baeza also admitted that he covered up his fraudulent conduct by modifying the companies’ accounting records to indicate that the checks had been issued for legitimate purposes.

Baeza also admitted that from June 2010 to February 2012, he used a company credit card issued in the names of his employers to receive payments and items of value in the aggregate amount of $189,267.02. Finally, Baeza admitted using his employer’s name and identity in February 2011 to issue and sign a check on a company account in the amount of $5,000 and using the money for his personal use.

 Contact the author at smeyerow@optonline.net

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