Three Marathon men were arrested Thursday in connection with several stolen checks deposited into a Keys bank this month.
The checks were likely stolen from mailboxes in Central Florida and were flagged Aug. 2 by a manager at a Centennial Bank branch in Marathon, according to an arrest report.
Marcos Vila, 28, faces one count of grand theft and two counts of passing forged checks. He was being held on $7,500 bond. Yaniel Cardenal Frias, 24, was arrested on two counts of passing forged checks and was being held on $5,000 bond. Yasbany Noa Parrado, 38, faces one count of passing forged checks. His bond was set at $2,500. The three were being held Thursday evening in the Monroe County Detention Facility in Marathon.
Detectives also are searching for two Miami men who could be linked to the case. Their names were not disclosed.
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The branch manager called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to report that five forged checks had been deposited at the bank. Some of the checks cleared before the manager discovered they were fraudulent.
Two were made out to Vila. One, a SunTrust Bank check for $1,253, was written off a family trust, according to a police report.
A GTE Federal Credit Union check for $1,227 was also made out to Vila and deposited in his account. The check belonged to a company called J1M Enterprises, according to the arrest affidavit.
Vila told Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Leon Bourcier that he had received the checks from a man named Juan after doing some work for him in the Miami area.
“When asked about receiving two checks from two different issuers, Vila couldn’t provide an answer,” Bourcier wrote.
Cardenal Frias also deposited two checks at the branch. One, for $2,682, was issued by Brannen Bank. The check belonged to the Homosassa Lions Club, according to the report. The club’s treasurer told Bourcier that he had mailed the check to a woman for a security deposit and that he does not know Cardenal Frias.
Cardenal Frias deposited another check, for $1,200. It had been issued by SunTrust and belonged to a company called Spring Lake Ranch.
Cardenal Frias told Bourcier that a Miami man had given him the checks — including the two deposited by Vila — and instructed him to deposit them in the Keys and split the money with him. The handwriting on those checks matched that of a signature on a Miami-Dade County felon registration form, according to the report.
Parrado deposited a check for $1,410 into an account at the Centennial branch.
He told Bourcier he sold two boat trailer tires to a man on Duck Key and was paid with the check.
“When I asked him why the [man] would issue him $1,400 for two boat tires, he could not provide a legit answer and stated he thought it was odd,” Bourcier wrote.