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Press Release

Five New York City Men Charged In Connection With “Grandparent” Mail Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Josiah DeJesus, age 20, Jashua Noboa-Nival, age 20, Yeurys Peguero-Rosario, age 22, Ramon Peguero-Rosario, age 19, and Nelson Rivas-Bello, age 27, all of Bronx, New York, were indicted by a federal grand jury for their participation in a mail fraud scheme that targeted older victims and fraudulently induced them to send money through the mail under false pretenses.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, the indictment alleges that on diverse dates in July through October 2020, the above-named defendants traveled from New York to various locations in Pennsylvania, including addresses in Luzerne and Lackawanna County, and picked up UPS and Fed Ex packages containing thousands of dollars in cash sent by elderly victims under the false pretense that their grandchildren had been arrested and were in immediate need of money.  The indictment further alleges that the victims sent the money after receiving fraudulent phone calls made by the named defendants’ co-conspirators, who posed either as the victims’ grandchildren or as a public defender representing the victims’ grandchildren.   

The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Philadelphia Division) and the Berks County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Jeffery St John is prosecuting the case.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is 20 years imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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Updated January 14, 2022

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud