Federal authorities have charged a Cresskill businessman who co-owned the popular Mamajuana Café chain of Dominican restaurants with bankruptcy fraud.
An investigation by the NYPD and New York City-based Homeland Security agents led to charges against Victor Osorio, 40, who helped bring the chain to East Rutherford, Secaucus and Paterson, as well as New York and Florida.
Osorio, a Dominican native who also co-owned a separate restaurant in Pennsylvania with Mamajuana partner Carlos Saint-Hilare, filed for Chapter 7 relief in U.S. District Court in Newark in February 2017, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Tuesday.
In his petition, Osorio declared that “none of his affiliates had a pending bankruptcy case, [while] failing to disclose that a business in which he had an interest,” the U.S. attorney said.
That business had a bankruptcy case pending at the time in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Carpenito said.
“Osorio also filed Schedules of Assets and Liabilities, signed under penalty of perjury, in which he stated that he did not own or have an interest in any incorporated or unincorporated businesses,” the U.S. attorney added.
“Osorio failed to disclose that he had an ownership interest in Business 1 – and he had declared approximately seven months earlier in Business 1’s bankruptcy documents that he was its sole owner – and had an ownership interest in another business,” he said.
Osorio also “stated that he did not own or have an interest in any checking, savings or other financial accounts, failing to disclose a bank account with a bank based in the Dominican Republic in which he had an interest,” Carpenito 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,” Carpenito said.
The U.S. attorney credited New York City Police Department detectives assigned to the Homeland Security Investigations Border Security Enforcement Task Force (BEST) and special agents of HSI-New York, with the investigation that produced the charges.
Handling the case for the government are Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Govan, the chief of Carpenito’s Public Protection Unit in Newark; Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Sherman, also of the Public Protection Unit; and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Teich of the office’s Economic Crimes Unit.
Osorio was due for an initial appearance Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Newark.
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