Jal Accountant Arraigned on Federal Fraud and Identity Theft Charges

ALBUQUERQUE—This morning, Roger L Baeza, 31, of Jal, New Mexico, was arraigned on an 81-count indictment charging him with 78 counts of securities fraud, one count of access device fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Baeza entered a not guilty plea to the indictment during his arraignment hearing. United States Attorney Kenneth J Gonzales said that Baeza is charged with defrauding two Jal-based businesses, Lea Energy Services LLC and Fulfer Oil & Cattle Company LCC, of approximately $572,000 between June 2010 and February 2012. During that period, Baeza was employed as the in-house accountant by the owners of the two businesses.

According to the indictment, from June 4, 2010 to February 27, 2012, Baeza forged checks belonging to Lea Energy Services LLC and the Fulfer Oil & Cattle Company LCC on 78 separate occasions and thus defrauded his employers of an aggregate of $311,960.08. Count 79 of the indictment alleges that, during that same period, Baeza unlawfully used a credit card issued to his employers to defraud his employers of an aggregate of $189,267.02. Counts 80 and 81 each charge Baeza with unlawfully using the identification of one of his employers to unlawfully withdraw money from his employers’ business accounts. The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the 78 securities fraud counts and the access device fraud count is 10 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the two aggravated identity theft counts is a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment, to be served consecutive to any other prison sentence imposed and a $250,000 fine. Following his arrest on a criminal complaint on November 6, 2012, Baeza is on conditions of release pending trial. The case was investigated by the Roswell Resident Agency of the FBI and the New Mexico State Police and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman Cairns. Allegations in criminal complaints and indictments are only accusations.

Criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Published on: 2013-01-08

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