ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Anthony Moya, 35, of Santa Fe, a former branch manager for CitiFinancial in the City Different, on Thursday pleaded guilty in federal court in Albuquerque to misapplication of funds by a bank official under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Charges against his wife, Eunice Moya, will be dropped as part of the plea deal. Anthony Moya said in the plea agreement that his wife was unaware that loan applications or checks that he had her handle were part of a criminal scheme.
The case spurred controversy in the state Public Education Department when the employees union there complained that Eunice Moya continued to work at the department after the Moyas’ October 2010 indictment.
She was in a human resources position that gave her access to employees’ Social Security numbers and payroll-related bank account information. PED officials said they made sure employee records were not “jeopardized.”
According to the indictment, the couple unlawfully obtained loan proceeds of $176,789. Anthony Moya was charged with misappropriating $269,722 in bank funds.
The indictment said the Moyas devised a scheme to defraud CitiFinancial by recruiting borrowers to sign fraudulent loan documents, then got a substantial portion of the loan proceeds themselves, which they spent.
Under his guilty plea in federal court, Moya faces a maximum prison sentence of 30 years, five years of supervised release and a $1 million fine at sentencing. Moya remains out of prison under supervision pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Moya pleaded guilty to one count of misapplication of bank funds, part of an 11-count indictment that charged Moya with eight counts of bank fraud and three counts of misapplication of funds by a bank employee.
The indictment also charged Eunice Moya with aiding and abetting the bank fraud.
In his plea agreement, Anthony Moya admitted preparing and approving mortgage loans for nominal borrowers in which he and his friends had a significant financial interest.
Moya also admitted involving his wife in his criminal activity by asking the borrowers to sign over loan proceeds to his wife. Moya then “required” his wife to endorse and deposit the checks, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a Thursday news release.
Moya also asked his wife to notarize signatures on mortgage loan applications in which he had an undisclosed financial interest.
In the plea agreement, Moya asserts that his wife did not know that the loan applications or the checks were part of his criminal conduct, and that she acted only because Moya told her to do so.
The plea agreement states that CitiFinancial did not suffer any actual financial loss because Moya either repaid the loans, or made sure that the loans were repaid.
As part of the plea deal, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will move to dismiss the indictment against Eunice Moya, the office said. It also will move to dismiss the remaining charges against Moya after he is sentenced.