Attorney Danilo T. Aguilar has expressed his intention to plead guilty to the charges filed in federal court that he took $184,947.49 in proceeds from a fraudulent Citibank cashier's check.
Aguilar and his counsel, Peter C. Perez, signed with the U.S. government a “consent to transfer of case for plea and sentencing.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric O'Malley signed the document on behalf of the U.S. government. U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and NMI Alicia Limtiaco approved the consent.
In the consent filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the NMI, the Guam-based Aguilar stated that he is aware that a complaint is pending against him in federal court on Saipan.
“I wish to waive trial and to plead guilty to the charges described in that complaint, and hereby consent to disposition of the case in the District of Guam in which I am present, and to waive trial in the District of the Northern Mariana Islands,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar is being accused of two counts of laundering of monetary instruments.
The U.S. District Court for the NMI had summoned Aguilar to appear in court tomorrow, Thursday. The case is now transferred in the federal court on Guam.
Special agent Shaun Morita of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation stated that Aguilar had admitted “in substance” to willingly taking the proceeds of the fraudulent cashier's check and authorizing distribution of the funds.
Morita said that, according to Aguilar, he panicked once the Bank of Guam froze his bank accounts and immediately began withdrawing funds from First Hawaiian Bank to cover business and personal expenses.
Morita said the lawyer admitted receiving the fraudulent cashier's check in the mail.
The agent said Aguilar claimed he knew it was wrong not to return the funds as the Bank of Guam had requested, but he was not thinking properly at the time.
Morita said the scheme began on March 13, 2009, when Aguilar directed his employee to deposit a cashier's check-purportedly drawn on a Citibank account amounting to $298,960-into a Bank of Guam business checking account.