Charges filed against 4 Fresno residents for auto theft, identity theft and real estate fraud

ByNico Payne and ABC30.Com Staff KFSN logo
Friday, December 23, 2022
Charges filed against 4 Fresno residents for auto theft, identity theft and real estate fraud
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The Fresno County DA's Office has filed 35 counts against Fresno residents related to car theft, identity theft and real estate fraud conspiracy.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The crimes that took place are far from common.

Fresno County Sheriff's Department PIO Tony Botti says 36-year-old Marcos Garza, his mom, Laura Mora, girlfriend Ana Ramirez and 55-year-old Olivia Rodriguez took personal information from multiple victims and used it to buy luxury cars, commit identity theft and real estate fraud.

Detectives with the Fresno H.E.A.T. task force say Garza was the ring leader.

"What he does is he is a real energetic, positive guy," Botti said. "He likes to build people up to say, 'Hey, if your credit is bad, come talk to me, give me your information, I'll teach you how to raise your credit."

The DA's office believes the crimes started in February 2020, but they weren't on authorities' radar until a bank employee contacted them about fraudulent charges for her client in Texas.

"Through the investigation, they found that this $115,000 boat was tied back to a man here in Fresno named Marcos Garza," Botti said.

Garza went by the alias Jay Mora and had a YouTube page called "The Wolf Trader," where he lured his victims.

"He would gather their personal information, then he would use it to set up new bank accounts, apply for credit cards, and then go and make illegal purchases," Botti said. "Things he would buy -- vehicles, boats. He would rent real estate and buy personal property too."

Over the more than two-year time frame, fraudulent charges totaled more than $500,000 according to authorities.

'I was at the house the day that we served a search warrant, and in there we found at least 50 names just on that day and files of people he had contacted, so it runs really deep," Botti said.

The sheriff's department says the victims span several states and they expect even more to come forward.

Anyone who believes they have fallen victim to the scheme is asked to call (559) 600-3111 and reference the case number, F739-412-22.

You can also submit a tip by visiting the ValleyCrimeStoppers website.