UPDATE: US Attorney’s office charges former Hoboken councilman, three others in $7M fraud scheme

On Wednesday, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the unsealing of a complaint charging Christopher Campos, Julio Alvarez, Marco Blasio, and Geuris Ramos with bank and wire fraud for allegedly perpetrating a scheme to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in car loans.
According to a press release, “The defendants [allegedly] used at least 20 straw buyers to obtain more than 200 new automobiles based on false representations that, among other things, the straw buyers would use the cars for their personal use when, in fact, the defendants obtained the vehicles in order to lease them to livery cab drivers. Alvarez, Campos, Blasio, and Ramos were arrested this morning.”
The deeds apparently occurred in 2012 and 2013. Officials are still investigating.
The release notes that Campos, 39, is presently a lawyer in Fort Lee.
The full text of the press release can be found here. And the charges can be found here.
The release quotes from Campos’ legal website, which can be found here.
Campos was a Hoboken city councilman from 2001 to 2007. In 2014 he was a $35,000-$40,000-per-year aide to former Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia.
Campos was arrested in Manhattan in 2007 after running a red light on the West Side Highway and was charged with driving under the influence. In 2008 he pleaded guilty to a lesser (violation) charge of driving while impaired. In 2010 he filed suit against both the Hoboken and New York City police departments for allegedly conspiring to discredit him, but the suit was dismissed by a judge.
The DWI became a campaign issue, among others, when Campos ran again for election. Campos failed to win reelection to the council seat in 2007, losing to now-Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
At a meeting to discuss the southwest redevelopment plan on Thursday night, Mayor Dawn Zimmer declined to comment on the news.
Campos and Garcia did not return phone calls or emails by Friday morning, but any response will be posted later.
Geuris Ramos is of no relation to current 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos, who is a close friend of Campos.
On Thursday, Ramos said, “Unfortunately these charges were brought up today. I’m just as shocked as a lot of people. Chris has always been a hard worker, raised himself through a tough situation to become an attorney. I’m sad. I’m disappointed.”
Ramos said he doesn’t know the other three people charged.

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