What to Know
- Yillian Coca appeared in bond court Thursday morning, while Santiago Borrego appeared in bond court Oct. 6.
- The pair are accused of making several fraudulent transactions and netting more than $40,000 illegally.
Two people behind an elaborate money laundering scheme in Hialeah have been arrested and are facing multiple charges, according to an arrest warrant.
Yillian Coca appeared in bond court Thursday morning, while Santiago Borrego appeared in bond court Oct. 6. The pair are accused of making several fraudulent transactions and netting more than $40,000 illegally.
The scheme began when Borrego allegedly deposited a counterfeit check worth more than $124,000 in his Regions’ bank account May 23. The money was drawn from an account belonging to Spices USA, Inc., the warrant says.
Borrego fraudulently withdrew $25,000 and transferred nearly $100,000 to Coca, according to the warrant. He used his title as the owner of Chiky Tires Corporation in Hialeah to justify his illegal transactions to the bank manager.
Because Borrego had a Regions business account linked to the corporation – and because he was a frequent customer in good standing with the bank – the transactions were initially authorized, according to the warrant.
When questioned about the nearly $100,000 transfer to Coca, Borrego told the bank manager he was recently diagnosed with cancer and the money was Coca’s compensation for “taking care of his children,” the warrant says.
In the days following, Coca drew out large chunks of money from various banks in South Florida. She purchased a $40,000 cashier’s check meant for “tire containers;” conducted a wire transfer of $20,000 to a SunTrust bank for the “purchase of a boat;” and withdrew $6,000 from a Regions’ bank in Miami.
At the time of these transactions, Coca was accompanied by a man who was later identified as Arnauto Rubio, who has an extensive fraud-related criminal past, authorities said.
When Coca withdrew $6,000 from the Regions’ bank in Miami, the bank manager grew suspicious. He traced the money back to Borrego and the Spices USA account.
The owner of Spices USA, Dana Cho, said she did not know Borrego. Cho provided an affidavit of fraud to the bank.
Regions’ bank manager Ernesto Chiong reached out to Borrego and told him the check was counterfeit. In response, Borrego said: “good luck with that, I am not paying you any money,” and hung up the phone, the warrant says.
Coca claims the source of her funds came from her ex-boyfriend and father of her child.
The pair are facing multiple charges including grand theft, organized fraud or scheme to defraud $50,000 or more, and money laundering. They are being held on a $300,000 bond.