Suspected ‘humorous cash’ rip-off artist charged after Nashville companies conned out of money

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A surveillance video posted online by a Hermitage company using counterfeit cash led police to identify the scammer responsible for several similar scams.

Rashida Groomster, 22, was arrested on Wednesday on five criminal simulation cases.

An arrest warrant states that a woman walked into the Rusty Nail on Andrew Jackson Parkway in September 2020 and used a fake $ 100 bill to pay for a meal, get change, and get the business out of money.

The Rusty Nail posted a surveillance video of the woman and was contacted by several people on Facebook, with the scammer identified as a groomster, according to court documents.

Another warrant states that Groomster used a fake $ 50 bill at Ruby Sunshine on 21st Avenue South in December 2020.

Details of the other incidents that Groomster allegedly participated in were not immediately released.

Groomster was admitted to Metro Prison Wednesday evening for criminal simulation, theft, resisting arrest and circumventing arrest. Their bond issue was set at $ 113,500.

A booking photo for groomster was not provided by the Metro police.

Berthoud Actual Property Agent Bret Lamperes Charged With Cash Laundering – CBS Denver

WELD COUNTY, Colorado (CBS4) A 51-year-old real estate agent accused of challenging clients with more than $ 850,000 is due to appear in Weld County court Friday morning to be formally informed of the charges brought against him. Bret Lamperes faces five crimes related to theft, money laundering and tax evasion.

Lamperes, a resident of Berthoud, turned himself in to the authorities on Tuesday and was detained.

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Investigators from Weld County, the FBI and the Colorado Department of Treasury believe Lamperes signed 29 condominium sales contracts but only built eight of them, the DA office said in a press release Thursday.

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In total, investigators believe the defendant stole $ 852,510 from 15 victims who invested money in the project.

Bret Lamperes (credit: Weld County District Attorney’s Office)

According to the investigators Lamperes In February 2015, the company was formed through a company called Investments of Windsor, LLC. An online database of Colorado companies currently describes the status of the company as “criminal”.

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Investigators are looking for additional victims and information.

Berthoud man arrested, charged for cash laundering scheme that value 15 victims greater than $850,000

GREELEY, Colorado. – A Berthoud man was charged with a money laundering system that defrauded 15 victims for more than $ 850,000, according to the nineteenth district attorney’s office.

Investigators believe that Bret Lamperes, 51, a realtor at the time, signed 29 sales contracts related to the Investments of Windsor, LLC project in Windsor. Only eight of the 29 condominiums were built in accordance with the purchase agreements.

In total, investigators believe the defendant stole $ 852,510 from 15 victims who invested money in the project.

Lamperes is charged with theft, money laundering, two false tax returns, and tax evasion. It turned into Weld County Jail on Tuesday. He is due to appear before a judge on Friday morning.

Individuals with additional information or other victims of Lamperes are encouraged to contact Weld DA Investigator Cayley Chiodo at (970) 400-4709 or email cchiodo@weldgov.com.

Fitchburg Man Charged with Cash Laundering and Unlawful Cash Transmission for Changing Money to Bitcoin | USAO-MA

BOSTON – A man from Fitchburg was charged by a grand jury in connection with his alleged involvement in an unlicensed money transfer business in which cash was exchanged for bitcoin for people allegedly involved in the illegal trade in counterfeit goods.

Alan Joseph, 32, was charged today with running an unlicensed money transfer company and running four money laundering cases. Joseph was initially prosecuted and arrested in February 2021.

According to indictments, Joseph was involved in at least four financial transactions between August 2020 and February 2021 in which he converted bitcoin into cash in connection with what federal law believes was illegal trade in counterfeit goods. Bitcoin is a form of virtual currency or cryptocurrency that has no physical form and is only traded electronically.

Joseph reportedly tried to promote and hide the nature of such illegal activities. For example, on August 12, 2020, Joseph converted approximately $ 12,000 in cash into Bitcoin for an undercover agent whom Joseph believed was a seller of counterfeit “Gucci” products made in China. The undercover agent also argued that its Chinese supplier required Bitcoin to purchase the product. About two months later, on October 28, 2020, Joseph reportedly converted about $ 25,000 in cash to Bitcoin for the same undercover agent. During that meeting, the undercover agent told Joseph that the money Joseph converted came from “wealthy housewives” who bought “counterfeit” items. It is also alleged that Joseph expressed an interest in buying counterfeit goods from the undercover agent.

Contrary to federal laws and regulations, Joseph did not register his money transfer business with the Treasury Department, nor did he request identification from the undercover agent during meetings.

The money laundering charge includes a prison sentence of up to 20 years, a supervised release of up to three years and a fine of $ 250,000. Charges for running an unlicensed money transfer company include a prison sentence of up to five years, a supervised release of up to three years, and a fine of $ 250,000. Sentences are passed by a federal district judge based on U.S. sentencing guidelines and other legal factors.

Acting United States Attorney, Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special envoy for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; William S. Walker, homeland security investigative special agent in Boston; Ramsey E. Covington, Assistant Special Representative for Criminal Investigation, Internal Revenue Services; and Joseph W. Cronin, US Postal Inspectorate, made the announcement. US Assistant Attorney John T. Mulcahy of Mendell’s Worcester office is pursuing the case.

The information contained in the fee documents are allegations. The accused is presumed innocent unless and until he has been found unequivocally guilty in a court of law.

Bail cash not required for star basketball recruit charged in lethal DUI crash

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Some harsh feelings are now mingling with grief following a high profile DUI crash that killed a Clark County school district employee and cast doubt on the future of a star basketball recruit.

The case has not been brought to justice, but the victim’s family say they are already being denied justice.

This story is the latest in our series of reports on what many consider to be an issue with bail bail hearings, and again shows that it’s a no-one wins issue.

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“I think I’m still in shock because I still can’t get past December 30th. It’s like there wasn’t a New Year. There was nothing,” said Ann Marie Echevarria.

The last time she heard from her husband Eric, he went to get something to eat for her 14-year-old son, who shares his father’s name.

“And I called him and he doesn’t answer, so I called my son and I thought, Eric, where’s dad? And he said he wasn’t home yet. And I already knew he died. I knew it before I got to it. ” the scene. I knew it was him. “

The scene on the corner of Fort Apache Road and Furnace Gulf Avenue still shows the signs of the crash that killed Eric: broken pieces of plastic from a taillight, spray paint from the crash investigators marking the street, and wooden planks the one Cover the decimated ash block wall.

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“We live right at the end of the street. And … it was the worst,” said Ann Marie.

Eric Echevarria, 52, had worked as the Clark County School District administrator for nearly two decades, sometimes helping with autistic students.

He was a veteran, organ donor, beloved father, grandfather, and husband.

“I think when is he coming home? I look out the window all the time, looking all the time … Because his place is right in front of the house. I just look out there and the car isn’t there and it’s coming never go back, “said Ann Marie.

Your son, an eighth grader, has the hardest time.

“He wakes me up in the middle of the night which is heartbreaking to make me wonder mom what happens to me when you die?”

The teenager charged with the murder of Echevarria is 19-year-old Zaon Collins. The former Bishop Gorman High School student was a valued UNLV basketball recruit at the time.

In Collins’ arrest report, police say he drove about 88 mph in a residential area at 35 mph.

“When he hit him so hard, he got his car so far in the air that the roof of his car hit the wall,” said the victim’s sister-in-law, Evelyn Sulrzycki.

The arrest report states that police found a “glass with a green leafy substance” in Collins’ car and that Collins appeared to be tall.

The prosecutor says Collins tested positive for 3.0 nanograms per milliliter of THC – or marijuana – in his blood. Anything above 2.0 is considered impaired under Nevada law.

“He got high behind the wheel. Very high. And he decided to walk down this street,” said Ann Marie. “He turned off the road and hit my husband.”

Collins was charged with two crimes: DUI and reckless driving, both of which resulted in death.

Nevertheless, there is one thing Ann Marie cannot overcome. “He was home in less than 24 hours.”

Collins was released from prison the day after his arrest and was allowed to go home with his parents while his case is being heard in court.

“So it’s not fair. It’s just not fair!”

Collins received what was known as a self-recognition, or surgical release, which was not bailed but had several restrictions.

“What do you notice about this case?” Darcy Spears asked Lilia Ceballos, a bailiff who routinely works with DUI defendants.

“The fact that someone died,” replied Ceballos. “I was expecting half a million dollars bail to be honest. And surveillance! And when we saw he got OR we were like … What ?! How ?!”

The bail has been the subject of many screams across the country and here in Nevada.

“There were incredible racial and economic differences in bail application,” said David Chesnoff, Zaon Collins attorney.

Some crimes allow an administrative release in the context of legal proceedings.

However, this is not the case with DUI offenses.

“They don’t expect anyone to die so that someone can just be released,” said Ceballos.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson said his office had asked the court to place $ 150,000 bail on Zaon Collins.

In a March 2020 interview, Wolfson went harshly about driving under the influence.

“It’s a choice,” said Wolfson. “And you should face the consequences.”

Since defendants of DUI offenses are not entitled to release through pretrial services, they must appear in court.

Judge Joe Bonaventure made the decision to release Collins without bail.

“We depend on him as a citizen, and if he does not take everything into account – especially the family who has lost their loved one – there is no justice for me at the moment,” said Sulrzycki.

Attorney Chesnoff says the conditions for his client’s release are almost as strict as behind bars.

He is electronically monitored at a high level, must wear a SCRAM drug test patch and is not allowed to drive.

“Basically, the only difference between jail and whereabouts – and it’s good – he’s home and can work with me,” Chesnoff said.

“If you have clout, get out. And if you don’t, stay in jail,” said Ceballos.

“He was at Bishop Gorman – a fancy, expensive private school. He drove a $ 30,000 car. And now he has a very famous, expensive lawyer. How can we reconcile that?” Spears asked Chesnoff.

“Firstly, his parents love him and want him to go to the best school. And he led the school to three state championships as far as I know, so there are a lot of people who are glad he went there. Second, the car and third, his very expensive lawyer is doing this pro bono at this point, “said Chesnoff, which means he doesn’t charge the family for his services. “I understand what the deceased’s family feels like, but I also feel for a 19-year-old boy who has an incredible future that is now in danger.”

“He has to pay!” exclaimed Ann Marie. “And so that he is outside and glorified as a basketball player …!”

Collins’ driving record only stirs up anger for the Echevarria family.

“It’s very, very annoying that he was allowed to go home and my husband wasn’t allowed to go home. This wasn’t his first time.”

Not his first time accelerating. Or his second. In fact, Collins has four previous traffic incidents in the past three years. Two to go at least 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, one to be careful not to drive and one to go the wrong way on a one-way street.

“It concerns me that a judge could be induced to release someone with a story like this, whose actions killed someone!” said Ceballos.

Chesnoff counters: “I know a lot of teenagers who had bad driving records. So I’m not reducing that. It’s a fact to be decided here. But I also think that apart from the accident, a lot of teenagers had problems like this. “

Court records show Collins paid more than $ 2,000 in fines for his previous violations. He also had to attend a coroner’s visit program in 2019.

“And the victim’s family look at that and they clearly say it doesn’t matter. He didn’t learn from it. He kept doing it until he killed someone,” Spears told Chesnoff.

“At some point everything that needs to be said is said,” Chesnoff replied. “And I know it’s difficult, but everyone should be patient and move on to legal process.”

The Echevarria family so far say the legal process has failed.

“I hope when he comes back on February 17th I’ll be in the courtroom, I hope they lock him up! It has to be him – he can’t be home when he’s on his couch watching basketball videos when we.” are over there and don’t know what to do with ourselves! I’ve lost everything! Everything! ”Ann Marie exclaimed.

Zaon Collins is considering the mandatory prison sentence if convicted.

He is due for a preliminary hearing in court on February 17th.