SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has charged five men for committing what they say was a mail fraud scheme that targeted victims by claiming their grandchildren were in need of money.

According to the U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, from July through October 2020, the defendants, Josiah DeJesus, 20, Jashua Noboa-Nival, 20, Yeurys Peguero-Rosario, 22, Ramon Peguero Rosario, 19, and Nelson Rivas-Bello, 27, all of Bronx, New York, traveled to various locations in Pennsylvania, including Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties conducting a mail fraud scheme.

As stated in the court documents, the five men picked up UPS and Fed-Ex packages containing thousands of dollars in cash sent by the victims.

Officials say the victims were allegedly told by the defendants that their grandchildren had been arrested and were in immediate need of money.

At this time, the U.S. Attorney Gurganus notes that all charges are only allegations. The maximum penalty for these offenses is 20 years in prison.