Wellesley Police arrested three men at a CitiBank branch on Central St. last week after alert employees recognized one as a man suspected of fraud at other bank locations, a police spokeswoman said today.
Johnathan Daniel Rivera, 29, of New York City, was arrested on six charges that included possessing a counterfeit credit card, use of a forged drivers' license, identity fraud, conspiracy, and furnishing a false name to the police. Two accomplices waiting in a car outside were also arrested; Samuel Santana, 34 and Tito Rene Clemente, 29, also of New York City.
According Wellesley Police Lt. Marie Cleary, Rivera walked into the CitiBank and told a teller that he had lost his debit card and wanted a replacement. The teller referred Rivera to another employee. Rivera then provided a Pennsylvania drivers' license and social security number that matched the name on the account.
However, Rivera then gave the employee a savings account number that did not match the account. That inconsistency raised the employee's suspicion, who also noticed a security hologram was missing from the license, according to a police report report provided to the Globe.
Rivera, in casual conversation, said he was in Massachusetts to visit his son who had just graduated from high school. The employee later told police he found that detail "odd," since the man's license indicated he had been born in 1983, making him a father at about age 10.
The employee recalled receiving an email from CitiBank's corporate security department with a photograph of a male allegedly conducting scams. When he pulled up the email, he quickly recognized Rivera, who the bank had tied to fraudulent transactions at other CitiBank locations, the report said.
Employees then called the police and stalled Rivera by telling him they were having computer troubles. When police arrived, Rivera was leaving the building, according to Cleary.
Stopped by officers, Rivera first provided a fake out-of-state license, but then verbally gave a different name, Cleary said. Officers reviewed the bank's security e-mail and determined that Rivera was the same man. CitiBank security later told investigators that Rivera was suspected of stealing unknown amounts of money from legitimate customer accounts.
Upon booking, the report said, officers discovered three lines of four digit numbers written on Rivera's hand, presumably information needed to gain access to bank accounts. Rivera's fingerprints returned information from a police database that helped officials confirm his identity.
Meanwhile, Rivera's alleged accomplices were waiting outside the bank in an idling green Ford Expedition. Clemente was hiding in the backseat, pretending to sleep. When removed from the vehicle, it was discovered he had been lying on top of a set of New York license plates, the police report said.
The two denied knowing Rivera and each gave a different story about when the two had left New York and arrived in Wellesley. Santana described dining at a non-existent Denny's on "the other side" of Wellesley. Clemente said he had come to Massachusetts to meet with a call girl "that had a 'stripper name' like 'Candy,'" according to the police report.
Santana and Clemente were arrested on charges of conspiracy and attempt to commit a crime.
Cleary said it was not clear why the men chose to target this particular branch.
"The incident is still under investigation to see if there’s any other connection," she said. "The individual whose account they were trying to access had no link to the town of Wellesley."
The individual whose account Rivera was attempting to access has been notified, Cleary said.
Cleary said that detectives are working with CitiBank investigators to help unravel Rivera's alleged history of fraud. A manager at the branch declined to comment and referred inquiries to CitiBank, which did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
After being held overnight, Clemente was released Friday on $5,000, according to the Norfolk county District Attorney's office. Rivera and Santana had their bail set at $25,000 and are still in custody, Cleary said. All three plead not guilty at their arraignment Friday.