HONESDALE, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Reading man has been charged after he allegedly schemed $9,000 from a Honesdale woman.
Wayne County District Attorney, A.G. Howell said on Wednesday, 20-year-old, Christopher Mauricio III, of Reading, was involved in a scheme to steal money from the victim.
According to a press release, Mauricio III, and others took part in a scam to steal the victim’s money by pretending to be her son who was supposedly arrested and needed bail money.
Court papers say the schemer lied about being the victim’s son, getting arrested, and needing bail money. However, the victim believed it was her son and paid $9,000 cash to the imposter.
As the release reads, the victim was told a service would be sent to her home to pick up the money and was instructed to put the money in a manila envelope with her son’s name written on it and a judge’s name as well.
Police say the woman told them a black man showed up at the victim’s house describing him as having an average build, clean-cut, wearing a jacket and jeans, looking as if he was in his 20s or 30s, and wearing a black face mask. The male didn’t say a word, he took the money, handed a paper receipt to the victim, and drove away in a grey Honda CR-V with a temporary registration reading S1135965, investigators say.
According to law enforcement, once the man left with the money, the woman received an update that her son’s bail had been doubled to $18,000. This time she called her niece to contact her son, police say.
Officials say the victim’s son was okay and not in trouble, as he immediately responded when saying he didn’t know what she was talking about and he had been in a meeting all morning.
Court papers say the grey Honda CR-V was later stopped by PSP and the driver was identified as Mauricio. After this, police placed him on surveillance and he was seen going into his home carrying a manila envelope, police say.
Officers say a search warrant was granted and executed for Mauricio’s home vehicle and phone, where police found numerous photos and videos of Mauricio counting money after leaving victims’ houses. Also in the vehicle, officers found a receipt book and a manila envelope with the judge’s name the victim wrote, court papers say.
Mauricio was taken into custody and charged with theft by deception, receiving stolen property, and criminal use of a communication facility.