Global Business

For Sale: Bogus World Bank Bonds

Two people are charged in an alleged conspiracy in which they sold $1.5 million worth of the purported bonds to foreign nationals.
Stephen TaubJanuary 29, 2008

Two people have been charged with fraud over an alleged conspiracy to sell fake World Bank bonds to overseas investors.

Federal and Florida regulators charged Jose Rafael Mirabal and Ernesto J. Casco with several counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering in a 19-count indictment.

According to the indictment, between 2002 and 2006, Mirabal and Casco solicited at least 12 foreign nationals living abroad and sold them bonds purportedly issued by the World Bank, also known as International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The pair allegedly told the investors they were selling the bonds through Omicron Financial Group. However, Omicron was never registered Florida.

According to federal prosecutors, at Mirabal and Casco’s request, the investors wire-transferred monies into an account opened at a Miami bank as well as a brokerage account opened by the two individuals.

However, the pair did not use the money to purchase World Bank bonds. Rather, they used the money for their personal benefit, including the purchase of real estate, prosecutors say.

Altogether, Mirabal and Casco sold to investors more than $1.5 million in bonds, identifying the World Bank as the issuer.

According to the indictment, representatives of the World Bank confirmed that they did not issue the bonds and that the bonds are in fact fraudulent.

Mirabal and Casco face up to 20 years in prison on a conspiracy count, 20 years for each wire fraud count, 10 years for a money-laundering-conspiracy count, and 10 years for a money-laundering count.