Comchek fraud: Former freight broker employee admits stealing

| 8/1/2011

A former employee of a Texas freight broker has admitted to stealing $50,000 from his company through Comdata checks.

Alejandro “Alex” Mascorro, 41, pleaded guilty this past week to wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud in U.S. District Court in McAllen, TX. His former employer, Doria Enterprises LLC, didn’t approve any of the money transfers.

Court documents say Mascorro used express codes assigned by Comdata to “cash approximately 50 Comcheks totaling $41,575 at truck stops throughout Hidalgo County” between January 2008 and at least April 2009.

Other times, Mascorro directed others to cash Comcheks for him using the Doria codes. He paid the individuals off with kickbacks, court documents say.

Mascorro and others filled out Comcheks with fake addresses and drivers license numbers, and used different truck stops for each check cashing, prosecutors said.

The case is just the latest example of large amounts of money being stolen from Comdata account holders. In an April interview with Land Line, Comdata blamed a rash of recent thefts on account holders who didn’t install proper software security systems.

Mascorro was also accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a different employer by having shippers pay his own bank account rather than the freight broker he worked for.

Taking load payments
Aside from the Comchek theft, prosecutors alleged that Mascorro also stole from a different employer.

According to court documents filed along with the Comdata theft charges, Mascorro worked for John Jerue Truck Brokers Inc. from May 2009 through March 2010 as a freight broker in the company’s McAllen, TX, office.

Mascorro hired truck drivers to ship goods at Jerue’s expense as part of his job and was supposed to move customer payments back to the company to reconcile those expenses.

As part of the scheme, however, court documents show Mascorro formed a company called “Ardilla Enterprises Inc.,” purportedly an independent truck brokerage company. He told Jerue customers to disregard Jerue invoices and instead pay Ardilla Enterprises for the shipments. In turn, he funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Jerue customers into his bank account.

Early in the scheme, Mascorro would take new money from a customer paid to AEI and pay Jerue “to satisfy another customers older balance thereby giving Jerue the impression that his accounts were operating without problems,” court documents read.

The bankruptcy fraud charge originated from Mascorro’s 2009 Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, in which he said his adjusted gross income for 2008 was $35,948, and failed to disclose his role as director of Ardilla Enterpises Inc.

Mascorro is scheduled to be sentenced Oct 13.