Mexican Businessman, His Wife and Two Others Indicted in Million Dollar Investment Fraud Scheme
(STL.News) In San Antonio, a federal grand jury has indicted a Mexican businessman, his wife and two other individuals for a scheme to defraud business investors of $1 million, announced U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff; FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Field Office; IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Goss, Houston Field Office; and, Texas State Securities Board Commissioner Travis J. Iles.
A federal grand jury indictment unsealed yesterday charges 45-year-old Juan Enrique Kramer, a Mexican national businessman residing in San Antonio; his 46-year-old wife Adriana Pastor; 41-year-old Noel Olguin of Victoria; and 40-year-old Mexican national Karina Hernandez with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The indictment charges Kramer with four counts of wire fraud. Pastor, Olguin, and Hernandez are each charged with one count of wire fraud.
The indictment alleges that from December 2015 to January 2019, the defendants conspired to promote a “turn-key” business venture to Mexican nationals, consisting of a chain of Mexican food restaurants throughout Texas called “Las Quesadillas.” Olguin and Hernandez marketed the operation to potential buyers and were paid between $20,000 and $25,000 for each contract they secured. Kramer and Pastor charged buyers a set fee ranging from $105,000 to $250,000, and promised to perform all tasks necessary for establishing a fully functional restaurant, including: finding and renting a suitable location, obtaining all permits, providing assistance in obtaining visas for buyers, completing construction, training employees, and handling all legal fees and incorporation issues.
The indictment alleges that the defendants took funds from buyers and failed to provide the promised services. Instead, they used the funds for personal gain or to provide partial payments to previous customers who were demanding their money back. In addition to partial refunds, Kramer would also offer stakes in other businesses as an alternative to repayment. If buyers refused, the indictment alleges that Kramer and Pastor would threaten to sue them for breach of contract. The indictment alleges that the defendants perpetrated their scheme on at least eight different victims resulting in a total loss of more than $1 million.
Each count upon conviction calls for up to 20 years in federal prison. FBI agents arrested the defendants on April 9, 2021. Kramer, Pastor and Hernandez remain in federal custody awaiting their arraignment and detention hearings before U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard B. Farrer, which are scheduled to occur in the next two weeks.
The FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and Texas State Securities Board conducted this investigation with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Chung and Matthew W. Kinskey are prosecuting this case.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.