CUSTOMS BROKER PLEADS GUILTY TO FORGING PENALTY NOTICE
U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison has found Hector Caballero, of Laredo, Texas, guilty of forging and using a U.S. Custom’s form to collect a business debt.
Caballero, 40, pled guilty to faxing a “notice of penalty’ form (Customs 5955A) to Federico Salcedo, a freight forwarder in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Caballero’s form contained a notice of penalty of $1 million, with a mitigation of $3,000 upon payment within 30 days of the notice.
The “notice of penalty” pertained to a shipment of Salcedo’s clothing goods covered by a carrier bond of Caballero Brokers Inc., a licensed customs broker and general order warehouse in Laredo.
“The document which Caballero faxed was fraudulent,” said Michael Shelby, U.S. Attorney, in a statement. “Caballero took a notice originally issued to his own company, Caballero Brokers Inc., in the year 2000, and altered it to make it appear to have been issued in 2002.”
Caballero, who will be sentenced May 16, faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.