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Fraud & Theft Invest target financial instit

FRAUD & THEFT INVESTIGATION TARGETING FINANCIAL INSTITUTION

 

cotto.jpg  ocasio.jpg
                                                              Gregory Cotto                         Joshua J. Ocasio-Martinez
 
   
DEFENDANTS:        #1 - Gregory Cotto (43 years old)
                                       628 Brookline Street
                                       Reading, Pennsylvania 19611
 
                                 #2 – Joshua John Ocasio-Martinez (20 years old)
                                        820 Pear Street
                                        Reading, Pennsylvania 19601      
 
CHARGES:    Defendant #1
                       Access Device Fraud
                       Unlawful Use of Computer and other Computer Crimes
                       Theft by Deception & Criminal Conspiracy           
                       Receiving Stolen Property & Criminal Conspiracy
                       Securing Execution of Documents by Deception
                       Criminal Conspiracy to commit Securing Execution of Documents
 
                       Defendant #2
                       Theft by Deception & Criminal Conspiracy
                       Receiving Stolen Property &Criminal Conspiracy
                       Securing Execution of Documents by Deception
                       Criminal Conspiracy to commit Securing Execution of Documents                                      
 
DETAILS OF INCIDENT:
 
On March 13, 2020, an investigator for a Financial Institution located in Berks County, Pennsylvania, met with members of the Berks County District Attorney’s Detective Financial Crime Unit to report that they were a victim of fraud. The bank suffered a financial loss of approximately $6,176.44.
 
As a result of this complaint, detectives initiated a criminal investigation which yielded the following information:
 
The fraud and theft involved a pattern of opening a checking and savings account at the bank, fictitiously transferring money (via telephone) amongst accounts to inflate their account balances and then within hours, withdrawing money from the checking account. The withdrawal occurred before the bank could reconcile the transfers and identify that the accounts lacked sufficient funds. The withdrawals were transacted at ATM’s and point of sale debits.
 
This scheme involved two people, who were later positively identified as defendant #1, Gregory Cotto and defendant #2, Joshua John Ocasio-Martinez.
 
On August 7, 2019, Joshua Ocasio-Martinez opened two accounts (checking & savings) at Branch #652 located at 2643 Shillington Road, Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. He made an initial deposit of $25.00.
 
The detectives obtained and reviewed financial records and statements associated with the two accounts and were able to identify a total of six Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers, which were transacted by utilizing the financial institution’s telephone payment system.
 
The six fraudulent transfers / deposits totaling $19,198.23 occurred between August 21, 2019 and September 25, 2019 and involved transfers from bank accounts which were identified as invalid or non-existent.
 
There was a 7th fraudulent transfer / deposit involving $5,541.62, which occurred on September 6, 2019. The funds were being transferred from a Bank of America account, which was invalid.
 
The seven fraudulent transfers / deposits total $24,739.85.
 
The detectives obtained additional evidence which positively identifies defendant #1, Gregory Cotto, as the person transacting numerous cash withdrawals from various ATM’s within Berks County. The cash withdrawals were from the two accounts which were opened by defendant #2, Joshua Ocasio-Martinez.
 
After conducting an audit and carefully reviewing the accounts, all the fraudulent transactions / deposits along with the numerous ATM withdrawals, the financial institution determined that their exact financial loss is $6,176.44.
 
The only legitimate deposit into the two accounts was the $25.00 which was deposited when the two accounts were opened.
 
On April 22, 2020, the Berks County Detectives Office filed criminal charges against the  two co-conspirators at Magisterial District Judge Stuart Kennedy’s Office and warrants were issued for their arrests.
 
On April 23, 2020, at approximately 11:45 A.M., Gregory Cotto surrendered by reporting to the Berks County Detective’s Office. He was taken into custody and immediately escorted to the Central Processing Center and turned over to the Berks County Sheriff’s Department for processing.
 
A preliminary arraignment was held via video by M.D.J. Stuart Kennedy. Bail was set at $10,000.00 secured and he was committed to Berks County Jail.
 
The co-defendant, Joshua Ocasio-Martinez remains at large. If anyone has information regarding his whereabouts, please contact Berks County Detectives at 610-478-7171 or Crime Alert at 1-877-373-9913.
 
As in every criminal case, the fact that an arrest occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation, and the two defendants, Gregory Cotto and Joshua Ocasio-Martinez, are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.