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May 27, 2004

Fraud suspect collared by cops

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A man believed to be a criminal mastermind is behind bars tonight, the prime suspect in a forgery which allegedly netted him more than two hundred thousand dollars. This man, thirty-five year old Robertino Oprescu, a Romanian national, is the man police believe set up a cobweb of fake companies, forged corporate checks from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and then employed at least two Belizean women to do his dirty work at the bank. News 5 understands that between August fifteenth and September fourth 2002, Oprescu obtained a K.H.M.H. cheque bearing the two authorised signatures and account number. He used that cheque as a model to produce his own forged K.H.M.H. cheques, made out to dummy companies he controlled. He deposited these in the company accounts and later withdrew the cash once the cheques cleared. Apparently, as many as eight such transactions occurred in amounts varying from five thousand to forty-eight thousand dollars before hospital authorities caught onto to the scam. The two “secretaries” he employed to visit the bank were immediately arrested, charged with abetment to fraud, and since then have been working closely with the police to identify their employer. On Tuesday, they hit pay dirt. Oprescu was positively identified on a bus bound for Belmopan by one of his former employees and immediately detained. Police later searched his home in Belize City where they found other suspicious documents, including company share certificates. For now he has been charged with possession of false documents while police continue to investigate his involvement in the K.H.M.H. scam. Already officers have discovered that Oprescu never left Belize but with the help of a local lawyer, simply changed his name to avoid capture. Now behind bars, the charges are mounting against him. Thanks to technology, police posted Oprescu’s name, photograph, and fingerprints on an Interpol website which immediately responded that he was wanted in Romania to serve time for another fraud conviction.

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