Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Philippine Loan Broker Charged in Defrauding the Export-Import Bank of the United States

MarketWatch reports that Bettina Balderrama, a loan broker from the Philippines, has been charged with brokering nearly $15 million worth of fraudulent loan transactions between companies located in the Philippines and U.S. lending banks, in which the Ex-Im Bank acted as guarantor or insurer.

According to reports, Balderrama instructed Cristina Song, a U.S. exporter, to prepare false shipping documents and submit them to lenders in order for companies in the Philippines to be approved for loans needed to purchase U.S. goods. The indictment alleges that Cristina misappropriate the funds by sending large portions of the amounts to bank accounts that were controlled by Balderrama.

The charges that Balderrama faces are: one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to commit offenses against the United States; three counts of submitting false statements to the Ex-Im Bank; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering; three counts of money laundering; and one count of obstructing a proceeding before a department and agency of the United States.

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