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July 10, 09

NEWS / Arizona Woman Sentenced on Money Laundering and Tax Charges

TUCSON, AZ— Aurora Duron, 50, of Tucson, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge John M. Roll to 18 months in federal prison for her role in a fraud scheme against the Otis Elevator Company. Upon her release, Duron will be on 36 months of supervised release which includes a requirement of six months of home confinement with electronic monitoring. In addition, Chief Judge Roll ordered forfeiture of approximately $22,000 and ordered restitution of approximately $1.4 million to be paid to the Otis Elevator Company. Duron pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of failing to file a federal income tax return on October 29, 2008.

U.S. Attorney Diane J. Humetewa stated that, “It is our hope that this sentence brings some closure to the victims in this case, the hundreds of employees of the Otis Elevator plant in Mexico who co-operated with every aspect of this investigation.”

FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge S. Annette Bartlett, Phoenix Division, stated that, “This sentencing is the culmination of a joint investigation by the FBI, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The FBI is committed to identifying, investigating, and pursuing prosecution of individuals who utilize fraudulent schemes against corporations for their personal financial gain. The FBI will continue to be vigilant in its search for the remaining fugitives in this case in order to hold them accountable for their alleged criminal activity.”

Duron was indicted along with three others on November 16, 2005. The three co-defendants remain fugitives. According to the indictment, the defendants engaged in a scheme to defraud the Otis Elevator Company between August 2000 and April 2004. The scheme involved the defendants creating fraudulent purchase orders from within Otis Elevator Company in Mexico, which were purportedly for the purchase of pallets, crates or other services. The defendants then prepared fraudulent invoices seeking payment for fulfilling the fraudulent purchase orders.

When Otis Elevator Company employees processed and paid the fraudulent invoices, the defendants were notified by telephone that the payments were available for pick up. The payments were deposited into U.S. bank accounts opened by Duron in the names of the two companies that submitted the fraudulent invoices. The proceeds of the fraud scheme were disbursed among the defendants, who used them for personal expenses and purchases.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. The prosecution was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson.

Tags: corporation, criminal investigation,


AnnaMaria Realbuto
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