Suspects stole over $  740K in church donations: 경찰

4 명은 체포되었고 2 명은 당국이 부르는 곳에서 수배되었습니다. “훔치지 말라 작전.”

The group was based in Orlando but traveled throughout 플로리다 and other states stealing checks, 수사관은 말했다. 모두, authorities identified 636 churches that were victims, 포함 355 에 플로리다.

This low-tech yet well-organized effort to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of mailed-in charitable donations — at a time when donations may have been most needed — has been stopped,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a news release.

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The group had numerous bank accounts it used to deposit the checks and then used ATMs to withdraw cash as soon as they cleared.

Arrested Wednesday were Ionut Raducan, 33; Marius Dumitru, 27; Marius Dumitru, 34; and Panait Dumitru, 32. Each was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, grand theft, unlawful possession of personal identification information and money laundering.

All were being held in the Orange County jail. Jail records didn’t list a lawyer for the men. Authorities are still searching for Catalin Trandafir, 45, and Simona Trandafir, 39, who face the same charges.

The investigation began last December after Cape Coral police determined 24 Lee County churches were victims. Authorities said the group spent the money on cars, food and clothing and made high-value wire transfers to Romania.

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.

Churches depend on donations from generous members of the community to operate and serve those in need. It is despicable that this crime ring would exploit the selfless acts of kindness displayed through these donations for selfish greed,” Moody said in a news release.

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