Police: Couple use homeless to pull off bank fraud scheme
MIDVALE, Utah (News4Utah) - A couple is accused of bilking thousands of dollars from several banks.
Unified police said the homeless were part of this elaborate scheme.
"They're trading counterfeit checks, using stolen business information," said Detective Darren Paul. "And (they're) going into banks to cash them.
To date, Paul said they tried cashing about $400,000.
"They cash these and each of these checks are on average about $5,000 each," said Paul.
Police say the couple, Davelyn Pacheco and Rodolfo Deluna, successfully made off with $275,000 from those bogus checks.
Pacheco was arrested for passing checks in Sandy but Deluna has yet to be found.
Once banks and credit unions caught on to them, Paul said they recruited the homeless.
"They suddenly shift to drug addicts or they're homeless," Paul said. "In many of those videos you can see Pacheco or Deluna in the background watching, making sure that the checks are being cashed and taking the money afterwards."
Unified police said it began in February when banks and credit unions noticed the fraudulent activity. He said dozens of financial institutions along the Wasatch Front were hit by these counterfeit checks using legitimate businesses.
"They're obtaining good business information, information of owners of businesses," Paul said.
He said they then called the banks and would change the contact numbers of these businesses. When bank tellers called those numbers to confirm the business transaction, the suspects answered the call.
"Bad guy says go ahead and cash it," said Paul.
Pacheco bailed out of jail after her arrest in Sandy. Paul suspects she and Deluna and now on the run. But he said he'll continue investigating the case in hopes the Attorney General's Office or the U.S. Attorney will bring them to justice.
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