Crime

Beaumont man will pay restitution, serve prison time for $100k business, church scam

Rueben Alvarez, Sr.

Reuben Alvarez Sr. pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering in a scam with adjusted losses of more than $1.2 billion nationwide according to an FBI report.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont man is facing prison and paying back thousands of dollars after pleading guilty to scamming several businesses and a church in multiple states.

Investigators say Reuben Alvarez Sr. was involved in a “business email compromise scam” in 2018 and 2019.

Investigators said Reuben Alvarez Sr. was involved in the scam to steal more than $100,000.

Alvarez pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering. He was sentenced to four years in prison on the first count with credit for time served and two years in prison on the second count with credit for time served. He will have to pay $18,000 in restitution. 

Between March 2018 and August 2019 investigators say Alvarez received more than $100,000 from his victims including almost $70,000 from the United Methodist Church.

Investigators say that Alvarez was scamming businesses and the church in several states using what is known as a “business e-mail compromise” or “BEC” scam.

In a “BEC” scheme, the scammer compromises a legitimate business’ email and then convinces someone at the business that he or she is a vendor that has done work for the company or organization according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3.

The company or organization then pays the “vendor” via fake invoices.

In 2018, this type of scam, which has become very common, resulted in 20,373 complaints to the IC3’s 2018 crime report.

Adjusted losses for the scams in 2018 were more than $1.2 billion nationwide according to the report.

Written by Raegan Gibson, KBMT (12NewsNow)

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