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Bayamón Man Arrested for Bank Fraud

Published By
U.S. Attorney's Office
Published Date


SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – A Bayamón man was arrested on March 19, 2024, on criminal charges related to various schemes involving bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, and wire fraud.

According to court documents, from July 2021 until September 2021, Manuel Burgos-Ortiz, 28, knowingly executed and attempted to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud a federally insured financial institution, and to obtain moneys, funds, credits, and property owned by and under the custody and control of said institution by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. The defendant conducted and attempted to conduct more than 70 fraudulent refund transactions for more than $5,000,000 using two debit cards and a Point of Sale (POS) system.

The defendant was able to apply for and obtain a POS system by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, and by using, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person. Shortly after acquiring the POS system, the defendant started to conduct fraudulent refund transactions to two debit cards associated with Global Marketing PR LLC’s bank account, a company that he owned and controlled. The fraudulent refund transactions created a temporary false balance of funds in Global Marketing PR LLC’s bank account. By taking advantage of the transaction validation process the defendant was able to gain access to funds he was not entitled to and spend funds that did not belong to him. Throughout the scheme the defendant managed to use funds originated by the fraudulent POS refund transactions, and temporarily available in his account, to conduct numerous purchases, cash withdrawals and ATH Móvil transfers, resulting in an overdraft of more than $270,000 in Global Marketing PR LLC’s bank account.

The defendant engaged in monetary transactions in criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000.00, by conducting transactions to purchase a new vehicle with funds that originated from fraudulent refund transactions, which the defendant was able to use by taking advantage of the transaction validation process. On July 23, 2021, two fraudulent refund transactions totaling more than $140,000 were conducted and approved using the POS system acquired by the defendant and a debit card associated with Global Marketing PR LLC’s bank account. That same morning, the defendant went in person to purchase a manager’s check for $74,036.25. That same day, the defendant used the manager’s check to purchase a new 2021 Black Dodge Rebel 1500.

From November 2023 until February of 2024, the defendant devised a scheme to defraud multiple small businesses and their owners, and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises. As part of the scheme to defraud the defendant deceitfully identified himself as an employee of a transaction processing company that provides merchant acquiring, payment services and business process management services, and by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, was able to gain access to multiple POS systems of small business to perform fraudulent refund transactions using debit cards associated with accounts he owned or had access to.  

“The defendant falsely represented himself as a legitimate business owner and employee of a company and stole money in many different ways,” said W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “I commend the Secret Service agents and law enforcement partners who uncovered the complex web of financial transactions that led to the defendant’s arrest.”

If convicted, Burgos-Ortiz faces the following penalties: up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud; a mandatory consecutive sentence of at least two years for the aggravated identity theft count; up to ten years for money laundering; and up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud or up to 30 years if the wire fraud violation affects a financial institution. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The United States Secret Service is investigating the case with the collaboration of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Manuel Muñiz-Lorenzi from the Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Division is prosecuting the case.

Tips and information assist the Secret Service and its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. If you believe to be a victim of any of the fraudulent schemes describe above or if you have any information about this defendant, contact the Secret Service San Juan Resident Office at 787-277-1515.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.