DARIEN, Conn. — A 61-year-old Darien man will spend five month behind bars and five months on home confinement — and was ordered to pay back millions in restitution — for his role in a multimillion-dollar scheme, prosecutors said.
Pablo Calderon was sentenced Tuesday along with Brett C. Lillemoe, 47, of Minneapolis, who will spend 15 months in federal prison, said Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut.
Both were also ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release, to pay restitution of $18 million and to forfeit more than $1.5 million of ill-gotten gains.
The two men were convicted on Nov. 9 of conspiracy and fraud offenses for defrauding banks that participate in a USDA-backed export financing program.
In the scheme, the two men submitted fraudulent documents to two U.S. banks in connection with a USDA loan guarantee program by which the USDA provides credit guarantees.
The credit guarantees are part of the USDA Export Credit Guarantee Program, which is designed to encourage financing of commercial exports of U.S. agricultural products.
The credit guarantees are designed to encourage exports to buyers in foreign countries – mainly developing countries.
Between September 2007 and January 2012, Calderon, Lillemoe and others defrauded various U.S. financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank A.G. and Colorado-based CoBank ACB, by presenting false and altered shipping documents, including altered bills of lading, in connection with securing funding on loans.
They used these fraudulent documents to obtain millions of dollars from U.S. banks in connection with the program, and then provided the funds to the foreign banks in exchange for a percentage fee for themselves and their various entities. Although the foreign banks were contractually obligated to repay the funds to the U.S., in a number of instances, the banks failed to do so. Nevertheless, Calderon, Lillemoe and their various entities retained more than $2.2 million in fees they had collected.
The foreign banks defaulted on more than $25 million of the many loans guaranteed as a result of this scheme. Those losses, which were originally suffered by the U.S. banks, were ultimately reimbursed by the USDA.