NURSE INDICTED BY GRAND JURY ON CHARGES OF GRAND LARCENY IN ALLEGED SCHEME WHICH VICTIMIZED FELLOW MEMBERS OF THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY
Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced today the arrest and indictment of a 45-year-old Yonkers man in connection with what is believed to be a pattern of larceny and fraud which victimized members of the Filipino community.
Arnold Cruz, of 186 Thurton Place, Yonkers, was arrested following his indictment by a grand jury on five counts of Grand larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D felony offense, and one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a Class E felony offense. Cruz is facing a maximum sentence of up to seven years imprisonment if convicted of the more serious Class D felony offense.
Cruz was arraigned before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Martin Marcus who remanded the defendant pending a bail review.
The charges on which Cruz was arraigned today are the result of allegations that Cruz stole more than $72,000 from five individuals whom he befriended through a colleague at a nursing home where Cruz was employed as a nurse.
The alleged crimes occurred between March 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008 when the defendant allegedly misrepresented himself to the victims as someone who could obtain U.S. tourist visas for their relatives living in the Phillippines. Cruz allegedly claimed that, for a fee, he could facilitate the process because of a personal relationship with an employee at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. It is alleged that the victims paid Cruz thousands of dollars before directing their relatives in the Phillippines to travel to Manila to meet with an unapprehended individual who collected their passports. The passports were never returned nor were any visas ever issued.
This investigation is continuing and additional victims are being sought. People who may have lost money in this alleged scheme should contact the Bronx District Attorney’s Arson / Auto / Economic Crime Bureau at (718) 838-6116.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica-Deanna Lupo and Assistant District Attorney Barry Goldbrenner of the Arson / Auto / Economic Crime Bureau are prosecuting the case.