HACKENSACK, N.J. – A group of thieves who thought they could forge and cash Bergen County government checks were quickly sniffed out by auditors, authorities said Friday.
Investigators were alerted in August and over the past two weeks rounded up seven suspects – five of whom have jobs – who were involved in forging the checks and making bogus wire transfers, Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal said.
That brought the total stolen to $50,000, he said.
The scheme was orchestrated, he said, by Daleska Dillerva, 22, and Anthony Peguero, 23, both of Newark.
Both were charged with trafficking in stolen identities, check fraud and theft by deception. A judge ordered Peguero held in the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.
Dillerva was released pending an Oct. 4 first appearance.
Also released on charges of check fraud and theft by deception pending Oct. 4 hearings were:
- Leslie Mercedes, a 19-year-old concierge from Hackensack;
- Alysha Viera, also 19, a store clerk from Carlstadt;
- Francisco Troche, a 25-year-old cook from Harrison;
- Claudio Rodrigues, a 26-year-old automotive service manager from Kearny;
- Guillermo Lopez, 20, of Jersey City.
The crew deposited the checks in individual accounts and then quickly removed the funds before the scheme was uncovered, the prosecutor said.
“Other suspected victim business accounts have been identified,” Grewal said, so the investigation was continuing.
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