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Financial Crimes

Bank president arrested by ICE in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The executive president of Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito La Comerieña was arrested Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.

Arnaldo Calderón-Rivera, 51, has been charged with violations to Title 31 USC 5318 (g) (2) (A) (1) for allegedly disclosing sensitive information contained in Bank Secrecy Act reports to a person who was not employed by his bank.

Calderón-Rivera was released on $10,000 bail and arraigned earlier today.

"Calderón-Rivera's arrest should send the clear message that the federal government is committed to ensuring that financial institutions comply with the law," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, acting special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Puerto Rico. "Threats to our economic security will be identified and neutralized."

U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez said, "The prosecution of bank fraud and economic crimes in general is one of the main priorities of the Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Puerto Rico will continue its efforts, along with all law enforcement counterparts, to investigate and prosecute these white collar criminals, who are affecting so many innocent people who trust their finances with them."

The ICE investigation into Calderon-Rivera originated from Cornerstone, a comprehensive ICE investigative initiative that targets financial crimes. ICE has an aggressive outreach program under Cornerstone to educate financial institutions and private industry about their roles and responsibilities in ensuring that our nation's banking laws are being followed.

This year alone, ICE special agents assigned to the Cornerstone group in Puerto Rico have conducted 130 outreach presentations to financial institutions, credit unions and private industry representatives advising them of Bank Secrecy Act regulations. Through this outreach, ICE is building partnerships that will enable the agency to combat money laundering, bulk cash smuggling, commercial fraud and other threats to America's economic security.

Assistant U. S. Attorney Teresa Zapata is prosecuting this case.