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East Texas man pleads guilty to wire fraud

BEAUMONT, Texas — A local man pleaded guilty to wire fraud Wednesday in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Texas Department of Public Safety, and Farmers Insurance Significant Investigations Unit.

Antonio Govea Figueroa, 43, of Nederland, Texas, pleaded guilty Aug. 13 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith F. Giblin after being charged with wire fraud.

According to court information, from June 2008 to November 2013, Figueroa, the owner and operator of Tony's Kustom & Collision in Port Arthur, Texas, electronically submitted claims to Farmers Insurance for collision work. Farmers became suspicious of the invoices submitted by Figueroa. The inspection of 44 claims revealed Figueroa claimed repairs that were not actually done and claimed to use new parts when salvaged or inferior parts were actually used without the consent or knowledge of the insured.

Figueroa faces up to 20 years in federal prison and restitution of $118,013.34. A sentencing date has not been set.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice, Eastern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.