A 54-year-old resident of Kingwood has received a second federal sentence for failing to appear in court, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Oscar Cantalicio Ortiz pleaded guilty Dec. 4, 2017.
Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt handed Ortiz another 12 months and one day to be served consecutively to the already-imposed 262 months for his conviction of bank fraud.
Ortiz was originally convicted for a mortgage fraud scheme in which he admitted he conspired to commit bank, mail and wire fraud. He was permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing in that case, but was ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device secured around his leg as a condition of his release.
On April 21, 2017, he cut off the device and left it on the side of the road in southwest Houston. His vehicle was later found abandoned in a parking lot in the same area of town.
On April 24, 2017, Ortiz was set to appear before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt for sentencing in the mortgage fraud scheme. He failed show for that hearing.
He was residing in Mexico and turned himself in to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico on Aug. 23, 2017. Ortiz told the FBI at the Embassy that he was a fugitive from the United States and had decided to flee because he wanted more time to work on a project. He was flown back to Houston the following day.
Upon his arrival, agents noted that Ortiz had changed his appearance by growing facial hair and dying it and his hair red. Ortiz admitted he had purchased a second car to replace the one he abandoned and drove across the border into Mexico where he stayed until his arrest.
While a fugitive, Judge Hoyt imposed the nearly 22-year sentence in absentia which will be served consecutively to the term imposed today.
The FBI conducted the investigation of both cases. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis is prosecuting the cases.