by Alex Lloyd Gross
Nov 28, 2022
An accused telephone scammer has a new set of municipal jewelry, courtesy of the Falls Township Police Department. The scam worked like this. A person gets a phone call from someone claiming to be a lawyer or a district attorney. They tell the person on the other end that their loved one has been arrested and they need cash money for bail.
On April 25, 2022 one such scam was pulled on a woman on Yorkshire Road in Falls Township. Her grandson was in police custody for rear ending a pregnant woman in Allentown. The woman was speaking to a fraudster who posed as her grandson. Within minutes another person got on the line and identified himself as “James Lee”. Lee said he was a paralegal with a lawyer named Lewis Clark. $5000.00 was needed immediately to get the woman’s grandson released from jail that day. The elderly woman was told to call the number back when she had the cash.
She did and the scammer told her that a courier would arrive at her home. He kept her on the line and did not let her hang up the phone. She was on hold with the scammer for three hours. Finally, the courier (who was later identified as Christopher Mauricio, )would arrive at her home to pick up the money. The subject would periodically put her, “on hold”, so that he could talk to the attorney, “Lewis Clark”, police said.
The woman was given a “receipt” for her money and the courier drove off with her cash.
Mauricio 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. Mauricio was preliminarily arraigned on Wednesday, November 23, by Judge Daniel Finello and released on $10,000.00, non-secured bail, with a non-monetary condition of no victim contact.