A cop with the New York Police Department has been charged with fraud and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation after participating in a $1.5 million auto loan scam, according to the Southern District of New York Attorney’s office.
Officer Eduardo Rodriguez conspired with two other individuals, Ricardo Taboada and Daniel Duran, to defraud auto lenders. According to court filings, Rodriguez took out loans for vehicles that he had no intention of purchasing, then funneled the money to Taboada and Duran. Rodriguez received a cut of the proceeds for his efforts.
Auto loan scams have been perpetrated by Taboada and Duran since 2017, investigators found. The co-conspirators would pose as consultants who could help improve consumers’ bad credit by obtaining loans on their behalf — but then pocketing the money.
In March 2018, Rodriguez lied to investigators looking into the scheme, falsely denying any involvement and knowledge about the auto loans. During a second interview with investigators a month later, Rodriguez admitted that he had, in fact, provide falsified auto loan checks to Taboada and Duran.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman stated:
“As alleged, Eduardo Rodriguez, an officer with the New York Police Department, misled a financial institution about his intentions for a loan. Instead of using the loan proceeds for a car, he allegedly used the money for other purposes. If anything, law enforcement officers should be held to a higher standard than the general public. At a minimum, they should be expected to obey the law.”
Rodriguez faces up to 40 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit loan fraud, and making false statements. On Tuesday he was released on $100,000 bond. Taboada and Duran have pleaded not guilty.