Saturday, October 31, 2020

North Hollywood business owner pleads guilty to $500,000 fraud

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The owner of a North Hollywood company pleaded guilty Thursday in a complex wire fraud scheme that targeted victims over email and resulted in more than $500,00 in losses to the victims, authorities said.

Jhonna Gutierrez Fueconcillo, 41, pleaded guilty to one count each of tax evasion and money laundering, according to a news release from the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.

Fueconcillo, the owner of LG Enterprise, was immediately sentenced to seven years in state prison.

She committed a type of fraud called “wire-wire” that began in August 2016, according to authorities.

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As part of the deceit, LG Enterprise received money through a complex fraud scheme called Business Email Compromise.

In the scheme, authorities said, business victims are deceived into wiring the funds to a fraudulent company via email instructions under the phony claim the money was going to lawful vendor accounts.

LG Enterprise acted as a conduit to receive more than $500,000 in unlawfully obtained earnings and distribute it using cashier’s checks and cash withdrawals, authorities stated.

Fueconcillo also never paid state income tax for the profits. She was ordered to pay $77,716 for taxes owed to the California Franchise Tax Board, authorities said.

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Fueconcillo admitted to a special allegation that the losses to the victims were more than $500,000 and was ordered to pay restitution of $552,939, authorities said.

The conviction was part of a coordinated international law enforcement operation targeting hundreds in business e-mail compromise schemes called “Operation Wire-Wire.”

The operation concluded earlier this month and resulted in 74 arrests in the United States and overseas including 29 in Nigeria, authorities said.

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