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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Monday October 14th, 2019 :: 05:01 p.m. PDT

Community

Lottery Scam

Nature of Incident: Lottery Scam
Report Number: RB# 19-159713
Location: City of Fillmore
Date & Time: 10/10/19 @ 2:40 PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Patrol Services and Detectives
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

Age
(S) Nelson Davila Cruz
                                                                      
Los Angeles 63
 
Narrative:
A lottery scam investigation in Fillmore on Thursday, October 10th, led to the arrest of a Los Angeles man for felony conspiracy to commit a crime, obtaining money by false pretenses, elder abuse, and an out-of-county felony warrant.
 
On October 10th, at approximately 2:40 p.m., an elderly female entered Bank of the Sierra in the city of Fillmore and proceeded to withdraw a large sum of money from her account.  Cruz entered the bank as the elderly female was conducting the transaction.  Cruz appeared to have an unusual interest in the elderly female and her transaction which prompted bank employees to notify the Sheriff’s Office.  Patrol deputies and detectives responded to the bank and Cruz was contacted scurrying out of the bank.  Patrol deputies interviewed the elderly female who told them she was contacted by two suspects, a male and female, asking for her help cashing a winning lottery ticket.  They convinced the elderly female to obtain “good faith” money from her account that was needed to cash the winning ticket.  The two suspects handed the elderly female one of their cellphones and a male on the other line impersonated himself as a lawyer corroborating what she had been told by the two suspects reference the winning lottery ticket. 
 
Detectives determined Cruz was working in concert with the unidentified male and female suspects and he was booked at the Main Jail for PC 532(a) / Obtaining Money, Labor or Property by False Pretenses, PC 182(a)(1) / Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, and PC 368(b)(1) / Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse.  During the booking process, it was discovered Cruz had an out-of-county felony warrant for PC 487(a) / Grand Theft by Embezzlement and was a suspect in Long Beach case for a lottery scam.
 
The common methods for carrying out these crimes include targeting the elderly, suspects alleging he/she cannot cash the winning lottery ticket due to their nationality, suspects working in pairs of two or three, and the request to wire, transfer, or obtain money or goods in exchange for winnings from a fictitious lottery ticket.  The Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone who believes they are possibly being scammed in a similar matter to contact local law enforcement.        
 
 
Prepared by: Detective Shawn Pewsey #3867  
News Release Date: 10-14-19  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Detective Shawn Pewsey
(805) 524-2234
Shawn.pewsey@ventura.org
 
 
Approved by:
 
 
Booking Photo Release:
Captain Eric Tennessen
 
 
 YES     NO  
 
           
 
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
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Address/Location
Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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