Magazine article American Banker

Florida Businessman Sentenced for Defrauding Export-Import Bank

Magazine article American Banker

Florida Businessman Sentenced for Defrauding Export-Import Bank

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Todd

A Florida businessman has been ordered to pay roughly $1 million and spend over a year in prison for defrauding the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Emilio Michel, 55, was the owner of Sea Star Boat Corp., a boat manufacturing company "that ostensibly sold and exported small boats to buyers in foreign countries," according to a Thursday press release from the Office of Inspector General for the Export-Import Bank.

But Sea Star wasn't in the business of selling boats, according to the agency's investigator Dan Stitt.

Instead, Michel and others allegedly conspired to defraud the Export-Import Bank in a scheme that began in January 2009. Michel took out an insurance policy from the bank that covered his business in case foreign buyers failed to pay for the boats.

Michel then assigned the proceeds of the policy to a private lending institution in Miami, which was unnamed in court documents, in order to get financing for the purchase and export of his boats. …

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