PHILADELPHIA – A handyman last week pleaded guilty to stealing more than $70,000 from an 80-year-old member of Franklin Mint FCU by stealing the man’s ATM card from his mail and using it to drain the elderly member’s credit union account.

Antonio Puzzangara, 23, was charged with 200 counts of access device fraud and related identity theft offenses. Last Thursday he pleaded guilty to felony charges of identity theft and theft by deception. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 24.

The scheme was discovered when a fraud investigator for the credit union found that the elderly member was missing $71,180 and the handyman the member he had hired last May had access to his home at various times for different projects. The elderly man had called the credit union and requested a new ATM card, saying he had not received his card in the mail. It turned out the card was intercepted by the handyman, who used it to make withdrawals from the member’s account.

Credit union records show Puzzangara made 220 unauthorized transactions at various credit union branches, ATMs and Wawa stores. He eventually was identified on surveillance videos taken at the credit union’s ATMs.

 

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