- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Two individuals convicted of trying to defraud the U.S. Export-import Bank out of more than $24 million could lose their citizenship after the Department of Justice filed denaturalization lawsuits against them Tuesday.

Guillermo Oscar Mondino, 55, a native of Argentina, and Norma Borgono, 63, a native of Peru, were convicted in 2010 and 2011, respectively, on charges related to a scheme to obtain fraudulent loans from the Export-Import Bank. Both were convicted on conspiracy to defraud the United States and mail fraud charges. Mondino was also convicted of money laundering.

“Criminals that seek citizenship in the United States and knowingly hide their criminal history have no right to keep their citizenship,” said acting Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Today’s complaints prove that the Department of Justice will continue to uphold the law and protect our immigration system against those who seek to cheat the United States out of our greatest immigration benefit.”

The denaturalization complaint was filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida.

Mr. Mondino owned an export business in Miami, Florida that purchased U.S. good on behalf of clients in the Caribbean, Central American and South America, according to court filings.

Mr. Mondino, along with Ms. Borgono and others, worked to obtain fraudulent loans by falsifying records, prosecutors said. The identified on their loan applications items that would not be purchased or shipped and ultimately $12.9 million of the amount the Export-Import Bank paid was never recovered, according to court documents.

The Justice Department said their scheme began while they were permanent U.S. residents, but the criminal proceedings did not occur after they had been naturalized. The pair concealed or misrepresented their criminal conduct through their naturalization proceedings, the Justice Department alleged in court documents.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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