By: Sharon Aron Baron
Coral Springs Police awarded their ‘2019 Operational Unit of the Year’ to their Economic Crimes Unit.
The ECU is responsible for investigating crimes, which may include identity theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, criminal use of identification, tax fraud, computer-related crimes, and other instances where personal information is used to commit a crime.
The unit consists of Detective Jason DeLuca, Detective Brian Elkin, Detective Marc Gerlach, Detective Ricardo Pena, Detective Brett Schroy, Criminal Investigation Specialist Gene Cashier and Sergeant Glenn Matonak.
In 2019 the Detectives within the ECU were assigned a total of 897 cases; this was an increase from the previous year’s 649 cases.
As most fraud-related cases require an examination of records from banks, internet service providers, etc., a case is likely to take at least as long as it takes to receive the requested information — typically 30 days, if not more.
Despite the time-consuming nature of most of these cases, the ECU had an average clearance rate of 57 percent, up 21 percent from the previous year.
The detectives within this unit were able to help residents in a variety of ways. Detective DeLuca was at the forefront of a card cracking case that has taken several years and has been accepted by the United States Attorney and is pending indictment on 11 defendants. This case involves over 11,000 victims with a loss of $22 million.
Detective Pena and Detective Schroy made their impact in solving many cases involving credit card fraud, gas skimmers, forgery, and account takeovers. Altogether, their cases solved in 2019 rendered over $1.2 million in losses to businesses and personal accounts, now accounted for.
Detective Elkin made his contributions in working on embezzlement cases, numerous gas skimmer cases, but most importantly, several cases affecting residents in their “Golden Years.” These cases target the elderly population and can have an irreversible impact on a victim of such crimes.
Investigator Cashier has been instrumental in a costly theft by deception case and several contractor fraud cases that have amassed losses of nearly $20,000.
In a statement from Coral Springs Police, “The detectives in the Economic Crimes Unit have done an excellent job of keeping up with the number of cases being assigned and still being able to increase their clearance rate in 2019. Their hard work and dedication to the victims and businesses most affected by these cases have allowed for some to see financial restitution and feel a sense of ease as justice is served.”
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