SAN JUAN, P.R. – On March 10, 2022, the Federal Grand Jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment charging Martín Scamaroni-Cintrón with money laundering violations related to fraudulently obtained funds from the Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (USDOL-OIG), and the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury (Hacienda).
According to the indictment, Scamaroni-Cintrón engaged in a money laundering conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) to obtain Electronic Transfers of Funds (ETFs) containing Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments from multiple states as well as the proceeds of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans that he was not qualified and authorized to receive in his various bank accounts held in Puerto Rico. The applications for UI and PUA were fraudulently submitted in the names of other persons, whom never applied for UI and PUA benefits or SBA loans, but the applications utilized the defendant’s bank account and routing numbers. Scamaroni-Cintrón knowingly transferred these illegally obtained proceeds to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership and proceeds.
In addition to the money laundering conspiracy, Scamaroni-Cintrón was also charged with sixteen substantive counts of money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i). From approximately May 2020 through January 2021, the amount of fraudulently obtained benefits and loans associated with the defendant’s money laundering activity totaled approximately $361,683.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSA) Victor Acevedo and Manuel Muñiz Lorenzi are in charge of the prosecution of the case. If convicted, the defendant is facing 20 years in prison for each money laundering count, a fine of up to $250,000, and three years of supervised release.
To report a COVID-19-related fraud scheme or suspicious activity, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling the NCDF Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.