ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene woman at the center of an online love triangle is accused of scamming an elderly victim out of $60,000.
Jana Rocha, 52, of Abilene, has been charged with Exploitation of an Elderly Individual and Theft in connection to scam that police began investigating in November.
Court documents state the 73-year-old victim contacted police at his hometown in Virginia to report a woman, who he believed was his “girlfriend”, though they had only corresponded online and never met, had scammed him out of $60,000.
This man told detectives his “girlfriend” claimed she was about to inherit an $80 million estate from her late husband, but she needed $60,000 to pay attorney fees, according to the documents, which state the victim sent a check in the mail to an address on the 3400 block of FM 1750 in Abilene, Texas.
After the check was cashed, the “girlfriend” ceased all correspondence with the victim.
Further investigation identified Rocha as the suspect caught on surveillance video depositing the check at an Abilene bank then withdrawing all $60,000 over a series of 16 transactions.
A search warrant was executed at Rocha’s home on FM 1750 at the end of November, allowing investigators to seize a laptop, a phone, two tablets, numerous money wire receipts, bank paperwork, and USPS certified mail receipts as evidence.
After the search and seizure, the documents state Rocha confessed to depositing the elderly victim’s $60,000 into her account at an Abilene bank then withdrawing the funds to wire via MoneyGram or Western Union to a man in the United Arab Emirates she believed to be her “boyfriend”, though they had only corresponded online and never met .
Rocha was able to show detectives “evidence of these transactions and other communication with the person she believed to be [her boyfriend], on a messaging app”, according to the documents.
Rocha remains in the Taylor County Jail on bonds totaling over $40,000, and the investigation into this crime continues.
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