Arrests Made in $71,000 Online Banking Fraud Scheme at Banco Popular



ST. CROIX – In a swift and well-coordinated response by the Economic Crime Unit of the V.I. Police Department, two individuals have been apprehended concerning a fraud scheme that reportedly pilfered $71,000 from unsuspecting Banco Popular customers.

Luis Arias Alvarez, 26, alongside Daymarie Roque-Guerrero, 21, emerged as prime suspects in this sophisticated scam. Initiating their probe on August 9, investigators peeled back the layers of an elaborate deception that revolved around the misuse of the Retiro Movil Platform for online banking.

Bank security footage from Banco Popular branches located at Orange Grove, Sunshine Mall, and Sunny Isles in St. Croix captured the suspects in action. This damning evidence showed Alvarez and Roque-Guerrero making unauthorized ATM withdrawals. Their modus operandi involved illegitimately accessing the Mi Banco Online platform, which led to the unauthorized depletion of funds from innocent customer accounts.

However, their operation hit a snag on Friday. A keen-eyed informant tipped off detectives about Alvarez’s whereabouts near Banco Popular’s Orange Grove Branch. He was soon intercepted as he moved towards Pueblo Golden Rock. Simultaneously, Roque-Guerrero found herself cornered at her residence at #240 Estate Richmond. Both individuals were secured and arrested without incident.

The legal weight now bearing down on the duo is considerable. They face a slew of charges encompassing grand larceny, obtaining money under false pretenses, identity theft, and unauthorized computer access for fraudulent intentions. Following their processing at the Frederiksted-based Wilbur H. Francis Police Operation Building, they were brought before the judicial system. Their collective bail was determined at $20,000.

While Alvarez is currently detained at the John A. Bell Adult Correctional Facility, having not posted bail, Roque-Guerrero secured her release through a 10% bond valued at $2,005, sanctioned by Judge Alphonso G. Andrews.

The forthcoming legal proceedings for the suspects are slated for August 14, 9:00 a.m., at the V.I. Superior Court in St. Croix, where they will be formally advised of their rights.

The V.I. Police Department, unwavering in its commitment, underlines its dedication to curbing economic crimes and ensuring the safety of the community. In light of this, community members are urged to be alert and proactively report any unusual or suspicious activities.

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