Reading Man Charged for Bilking Senior using “Grandparent Scam”
Months after an arrest warrant was issued for his arrest a Reading, Pennsylvania man was arrested and charged for victimizing Falls Township resident in her 90’s by preying on her using a Grandparent scam.
Christopher Mauricio, 20, was preliminarily arraigned last week by Judge Daniel Finello and released on $10,000.00, non-secured bail, with a non-monetary condition of no victim contact charged with theft by deception and receiving stolen property, Falls Twp Police said.
According to Police, on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 1242 hours, Officer Stephen McCreary was dispatched to the 200 block of Yorkshire Road, Fairless Hills to meet with a victim of a fraud which occurred earlier.
The victim, who was in her nineties, told police, at approximately 0930 hours that morning, she received a telephone call on her landline. The caller identified himself as her grandson. This suspect told her her grandson was incarcerated in Allentown, PA for being involved in a traffic accident. The subject told her that he had rear ended a pregnant female and is now in prison, needing $5,000.00 for bail.
This subject was replaced on the telephone call by another subject, police said.
This second subject identified himself as, “James Lee”, a paralegal of attorney, “Lewis Clark,” according to court records.
The “paralegal” told her that she needs to pay $5,000.00 USD in order for her grandson to be released that day from jail. The 90 something victim hung up the phone, went to her bank and withdrew $5,000.00 in cash.
She returned home and called the subject back, she told the police.
The subject advised that a “courier”, later identified as Christopher Mauricio, would arrive at her home to pick up the money. The subject kept her on the phone for approximately three hours and would not let her hang up.
The subject would periodically put her, “on hold”, so that he could talk to the attorney, “Lewis Clark”. The subject told the victim to place the $5,000.00 cash into an envelope and label the outside of the envelope with the case number he provided her. She complied. The suspect then advised that, “the courier”, is out front of her house. He instructed her to not hang up the phone, walk outside, give the envelope to Mauricio, walk back inside, and get back on the phone. She complied.
Mauricio provided her a handwritten receipt, receipt #933029, and then drove off, police said in a press release
Later the same day, on Monday, April 25, 2022, Falls Township Police Detective Sergeant Michael Callahan was contacted by Detective William Shafer of the Southern Regional Police Department, Falls authorities said.
SRPD is based in York County, Pennsylvania.
Detective Shafer advised that he was conducting an investigation involving a series of frauds being perpetrated on elderly individuals. Through his investigation Detective Shafer had developed a suspect, identified as Christopher Enmanuel Mauricio, as well as a target vehicle.
Det. Shafer received authorization to affix a GPS tracking device to the target vehicle, and he found that the vehicle was parked in the area of 206 Yorkshire Road in Falls Township earlier this day. Det. Shafer believed that the vehicle was possibly in the area in relation to his investigation. Det. Shafer provided plotted map of Mr. Mauricio’s location on the date of this incident.
On Thursday, July 28, 2022, Det. Shafer interviewed Mauricio. He did not specifically speak of this incident. however, he did explain in detail other similar incidents where he drove to a victim’s address, picked up money from the victim, issued a handwritten receipt from either “James Lee”, or “Lewis Clark”, and then left, Police said.
Mauricio is currently scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on December December 7 in District Court.
A review of online county court records as of Monday afternoon shows the suspect has not been charged in any other cases as of publication in Bucks or York Counties.