- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say a former partner of a prominent New York law firm and her husband engaged in a conspiracy to obtain millions of dollars through fraudulent activity.

Keila Ravelo and Melvin Feliz were arrested Monday at their Englewood Cliffs home and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They were due to make their initial court appearances later in the day, and each could face 20 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say a joint investigation by the IRS and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration determined that from 2008 through July 2014, Ravelo and Feliz used two companies to fraudulently obtain money from two New York law firms where Ravelo previously worked, obtaining more than $5 million.

The companies purportedly provided litigation support services to both of those law firms. Prosecutors say Ravelo and Feliz either created both vendors or caused them to be created, including having bank accounts opened in the companies’ names, and controlled those bank accounts.

The couple allegedly obtained money from the two law firms and a client of both those firms by submitting invoices to both law firms for work that was not performed. That money was allegedly used to pay the couple’s personal expenses or transferred to a joint account held by them.

Ravelo, in her capacity as a partner at the law firms, allegedly approved many of the payments from the law firms to the two companies. Both law firms and the client have cooperated with the investigation.

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