Prosecutors: 10 charged in $1.5 million fraud scheme

Ten people from South Jersey and Philadelphia have been charged with participating in a scheme to defraud individuals, companies, and financial institutions by misappropriating the victims’ bank account information and using that information to withdraw over $1.5 million in funds, prosecutors announced Friday.

Don Ford, the owner of Factory Tune Auto Repair along the Blackhorse Pike in Williamstown, New Jersey, has been in business for 34 years. He says back in September of 2019, he got a call from a bank about a suspected fraudulent check from his business. After checking the name, number and amount, he told them it wasn't his.

"I didn't think anything of it. The second day, same thing, different bank, and then I looked it up and thousands were missing," Ford told FOX 29.

Turns out, someone had written $18,000 in bad checks by somehow obtaining his routing and bank account numbers.

Ford wasn't the only only one hit. Federal prosecutors say other South Jersey businesses, individuals and banks were bilked. A 41-page complaint against a 10 member ring, who are now facing charges, found close to 700 counterfeit checks from Nissan of Turnersville.

Prosecutors say there was also a modern twist to the scheme. They say 22-year-old Kayla Massa and her 19-year-old sister, along with the eight others used bogus ads on social media. The feds say they promised victims quick cash, convincing them to provide their bank account information.

The complaint showing Kayla with more than 300,000 followers on Instagram where they say she showed pictures of stacks of cash.


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