A Miami man was arrested on federal charges for his alleged involvement in a $1.5 million fraud scheme that targeted the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced this week.
Edwin Jim Garcia-Albarracin of Miami was charged with 10 counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of mail fraud, and 12 counts of money laundering. The press did not name an attorney for him.
According to the indictment, Garcia-Albarracin, 45, sold a variety of products online through his company, Rambos Market. He allegedly used USPS to ship his products to customers in Florida and throughout the U.S.
Garcia-Albarracin purportedly sold his merchandise using online marketplaces like eBay and Listia. He would then purchase insurance through the postal service and file false and fraudulent claims to the agency, stating that the contents of his packages were damaged during delivery.
To file a claim for compensation, a customer must provide details like their name, physical address, product tracking information, proof of the item’s value, and proof of claim. Customers are required to certify that all the information is “accurate, truthful and complete.”
Between July 2016 and November 2019, Garcia-Albarracin is accused of submitting several claims to the USPS’s Customer Inquiry and Claims Response System certifying that the items in some of his packages were damaged when in reality they were not.
He allegedly provided fake photos that showed damage to the items he shipped, but the pictures weren’t of products he actually sent, according to the indictment. USPS sent him compensation checks, and he wired the funds from one bank account to another in an attempt to “conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds of the specified unlawful activity,” the indictment states.
As a result of the alleged scheme, Garcia-Albarracin received over $1.5 million from USPS, the indictment indicates. Each filing of a fraudulent claim counts as wire fraud, prosecutors said.
The money laundering charges stem from Garcia-Albarracin’s alleged attempt to move and hide the funds he received. He purportedly used some of the funds to buy a home in the Kendall neighborhood. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse was sold in October 2019 for $380,000 and is listed under his name, records show. The property is now subject to civil asset forfeiture, authorities said.
Wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering are serious crimes that carry severe penalties. If convicted, Garcia-Albarracin faces fines of up to $750,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud, 20 years for each count of wire fraud, and 20 years for each count of money laundering.
Online court records show that Garcia-Albarracin has a history of criminal activity that involved physical crimes, including a 2016 petit theft rap that cost him $358 in fines, and a 2006 charge of assault on an elderly person.
South Florida Fraud Attorney
If you are involved in a fraud case, then you should hire an attorney. Contact Brian Silber, P.A. to set up a free initial consultation and work with one of South Florida’s most experienced fraud attorneys.