SAN DIEGO — A resident of Mexico has pleaded guilty in federal court on Oct. 6 to criminal charges stemming from a scheme to defraud interstate carriers and brokers operating in the trucking industry.
Alexis Castillo Padilla, 45, of Tijuana, Mexico, conducted what is known as a “double-broker” scheme, according to the plea agreement. As a part of the scheme, Padilla stole the identity of a Spring Valley interstate carrier and agreed to make deliveries using the company’s stolen identity. Then, rather than delivering the loads, Padilla posed as a shipper and re-brokered the same loads to other carriers who delivered the freight.
Padilla then collected the payments for the completed deliveries but did not pay the carriers who actually delivered the loads and were unaware that Padilla was running a double-broker scheme.
“Padilla used deceit and deception to defraud freight brokers and interstate carriers trying to make an honest living moving goods throughout the United States,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said. “He will now be held to account for his crimes even though they were committed from outside the United States.”
Padilla orchestrated most of the scheme from Tijuana, Mexico, according to authorities.
Padilla pleaded guilty to these charges following his extradition to the United States from Italy. He was arrested in Italy and extradited to the United States on May 27. As a part of his plea agreement, Padilla has agreed to pay restitution to his victims, estimated to be at least $239,904.
“Today’s guilty plea demonstrates our commitment to detecting and pursuing those who engage in egregious acts of fraud that negatively affect both businesses and consumers,” Andrea M. Kropf, special agent-in-charge at the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General in the Midwestern Region, said. “We are proud of our work with our prosecutorial partners in putting an end to this very complex ‘double-broker’ scheme.”
Padilla is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Houston at 10 a.m. on Dec. 7 before U.S. District Judge John A. Houston. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,00 fine.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.