U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden sentenced a Jersey City man has to 27 months in prison for participating in a scheme that involved defrauding a financial institution’s customers of almost half a million dollars.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the judge sentenced Jersey City resident Ramon Herrera, 37, on May 13 in Newark federal court following his previous guilty plea to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.
According to the USAO, between May 2015 and January 2018, Herrera used his position as a registered broker and financial advisor at a clearing services company associated with unnamed “Financial Institution-1” to meet and learn confidential information about the institution’s customers in the Hudson County area, for whom he was ostensibly providing advice and brokerage services.
Herrera caused the customers he was advising, many of whom were elderly or communicated with Herrera in Spanish, to sign blank withdrawal slips, which Herrera then completed and presented to bank tellers at Financial Institution-1 branches.
Herrera directed the bank tellers to withdraw the money from the customers’ accounts in the form of cashier’s checks, which enabled Herrera to then apply the checks against the various personal accounts that Herrera and a family member maintained at Financial Institution-1.
Herrera stole more than $450,000 from approximately 40 Financial Institution-1 customers and used the stolen funds for his own purposes without the customers’ knowledge or authorization.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hayden sentenced Herrera to three years of supervised release.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rachel Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kozar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark in this case.