UPDATE: A Bergen County businessman who once co-owned the popular Mamajuana Café chain admitted in federal court that he concealed assets from a bankruptcy trustee.
An investigation by the NYPD and New York City-based Homeland Security agents led to charges against Victor Osorio, 53, of Cresskill, who helped spark the Dominican restaurant chain's expansion to Paterson, East Rutherford, Secaucus, West New York and Woodbridge, as well as to New York and Florida.
Osorio, a Dominican native who also co-owned a separate restaurant in Pennsylvania, filed for Chapter 7 relief in U.S. District Court in Newark in February 2017, Acting U.S. Rachel A. Honig said.
In his petition, Osorio declared that he “did not have an ownership interest in any incorporated or unincorporated businesses,” Honig said.
He actually had interests in two -- in Secaucus and New York City, she said.
Osorio, in fact, filed a petition for one of them in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York just seven months earlier, she said.
Osorio also “declared that he did not own or have an interest in any checking, savings, or other financial accounts, failing to disclose a bank account in the Dominican Republic in which he had an interest,” the U.S. attorney said.
Eight days after the initial filing, Osorio amended the schedules to disclose a partial ownership interest in the first business, records show.
“However, the amendments still failed to disclose an ownership interest in Business 2 and the bank account in the Dominican Republic,” Honig said.
Rather than go to trial, Osorio accepted a deal from the government, pleading guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud Friday via video-conference in Newark with U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty, who scheduled sentencing for June 28, 2021.
Honig credited special agents of Homeland Security Investigations and NYPD detectives assigned to HSI’s Border Security Enforcement Task Force with the investigation leading to the plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Govan, who’s chief of her Public Protection Unit in Newark, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha C. Fasanello and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Teich of her Criminal Division in Newark.
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