Three Marathon men are facing charges of passing counterfeit checks after a clerk at Centennial Bank noticed several fraudulent checks earlier this month.
On August 2, Jessica Lugo, the manager of the Marathon branch, reported the bad checks to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the bank provided names of the three men who allegedly deposited the stolen checks into their own personal accounts: Yaniel Cardenal Frias, 24, Yasbany Noa Parrado, 38, and Marcos Vila, 28. They were arrested on Thursday, August 16.
Yaniel Cardenal Frias told detectives that he obtained four checks from a man in Miami named Jose Leonardo Castro Lorenzo, and that he knew the checks were stolen. Frias also stated he was told to cash the checks and he could keep half of the money, but the other half would go to Lorenzo in Miami.
According to reports, Frias then gave two of the checks to his friend, Marcos Vila, and Frias proceeded to deposit the two remaining checks totaling $3,882 into his account at Centennial Bank. Only one of those two checks cleared (for $1,200) and Frias returned to Miami to give the $600 payment from that check to Lorenzo.
Reports also state that the other check for $2,682 was issued to the Homosassa Lions Club Inc., and the owner of the check claimed it was mailed out to a woman for a security deposit and that they did not know Frias.
According to reports, Marcos Vila was given the same offer as Frias (to keep half the money), and deposited two checks for $1,253 and $1,227 into his personal checking account. The first check was caught by the bank and returned but the second one cleared. Vila stated to detectives that he obtained the checks from a man in Miami for doing work, but did not have an answer as to why the checks were from two different people.
Frias told detectives that Vila drove a third man, Yasbany Noa Parrado, to the bank to deposit a check in the amount of $1,410.60 (bringing the total number of checks to 5) into his personal account (which cleared). Parrado stated that he received the check from an unknown man he met on Duck Key who he sold two boat trailer tires to and received the check as a payment. Police questioned why he would be issued $1,400 for two tires. Parrado couldn’t provide an answer but agreed it was odd.
Parrado is facing one felony count of passing counterfeit checks, Frias is charged with two counts, and Vila is charged with two counts as well as a felony charge for grand theft.
Miami Dade police provided the MCSO with a felon registry for Lorenzo (who allegedly gave Frias the stolen checks). The form contained his signature, which detectives say matched that of the checks which may have been stolen from mailboxes in central Florida.
According to MCSO Detectives, more arrests may be pending as they are working with law enforcement partners in central Florida as well as with the federal government.
Note: Information in the crime report is provided by area law enforcement. Please remember all suspects are innocent until proven guilty.