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LOWELL MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD

 LOWELL MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD
 BOSTON, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- A former resident of Lowell, Mass.


pleaded guilty yesterday to engaging in a scheme to defraud involving fictitious interstate shipments.
 U.S. Attorney A. John Pappalardo announced that Armondo Vega a/k/a Richard Vega pleaded guilty in federal district court to one count of conspiracy and 20 counts of wire fraud in connection with 30 fictitious interstate shipments.
 At the plea hearing, a federal prosecutor told the Court that during 1983 and 1984 Vega was an officer of American Continental Transport Co., Inc., a Massachusetts corporation. American Continental had an agreement at that time with a California trucking company, Keystone Lines, a division of Transcom Lines, Inc. Under the agreement American Continental solicited shippers for Keystone to do its interstate hauling. Payment to the shippers was made by way of a negotiable instrument called the "Comchek." For the shipments American Continental arranged, Keystone issued American Continental an authorization number after Vega called Keystone to verify a shipment. As part of the scheme to defraud, Vega phoned phony shipments to Keystone, and he and his co-conspirators cashed the Comcheks, using Keystone's funds as their own.
 The Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled VEGA's sentencing for Aug. 24, 1992. Vega faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000 for conspiracy, and five years incarceration and a fine of $1000 on each wire fraud count.
 The case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret R. Hinkle of Pappalardo's Economic Crimes Division.
 -0- 6/26/92
 /CONTACT: Press Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, 617-223-9445/ CO: ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:


TM -- NE004 -- 4145 06/26/92 10:32 EDT
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Date:Jun 26, 1992
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