A Moldovan citizen pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to lying to a federal agent about a chemical export company operating out of a Manchester apartment, officials said.
Stela Sacara, 34, of Pembroke, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Concord to making a false statement to a federal agent, Acting United States Prosecutor John J. Farley said in a statement. A sentencing date hasn’t been scheduled.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Sacara operated several businesses from her home and office at 530 Chestnut St., Suite 1A, in Manchester, including Rochester Chemical LLC, which she ran with her sister, Natalia. Rochester Chemical acquired consumable laboratory equipment, repackaged it and shipped it overseas.
The Office of Export and Enforcement (OEE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated the activities of Sacara and Rochester Chemical, and others associated with them, to determine whether exports were carried out legally and in accordance with federal regulations.
On September 14, 2018, Sacara was questioned by federal agents and falsely stated that the director of Rochester Chemical was Amy Johnson.
Company emails showed that Sacara and/or Natalia periodically used the alias Amy Johnson. There is no record of the company employing anyone with the name “Amy Johnson,” court records show. Johnson does not exist, federal officials said, with Sacara and her sister Natalia acting as the sole directors of the company.
“Lying to federal investigators is a serious crime,” Acting US Atty. Farley said in a statement. “By providing false information, this defendant sought to mislead federal agents who were conducting an investigation. This conviction should serve as an important reminder that those who lie to federal agents face serious criminal consequences for their illegal actions. “
“Stela Sacara deliberately lied to federal agents to cover up the extent of her involvement in Rochester Chemical’s business operations and ultimately who received their shipments,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Boston Division of the FBI. “Not only did her actions waste our investigators time and energy trying to locate individuals who do not exist, but she also attempted to obstruct our investigation into whether the company was violating our export laws.