A Lehigh County woman's bank account is $35,000 lighter after she trusted her refrigerator repairman to make investments, police said.
Officials said 27-year-old Brandon James Lettich of 420 Old Swede Road in Amity Twp., Berks Co., made himself out to be a successful stock investor to a repair client, Tamera Durocher of the 2600 block of Washington Lane in Upper Saucon Twp.
According to police documents:
It all started on Oct. 23, 2012, when Durocher gave Lettich a $5,000 check to invest on her behalf. On Dec. 5, Lettich showed her a TD Ameritrade statement that said her $5,000 investment had grown to $5,756.14.
Based on the growth of her initial investment, Durocher gave Lettich a check for $10,000 to invest.
On Feb. 22, 2013, Lettich showed her a statement showing her investments had grown to $32,436.02. That day she gave him another check, this time for $20,000.
From March through July of 2013, Durocher asked Lettich several times for updates on the investments, but got no response from him, police said.
In August, 2013, Durocher asked Lettich to provide her the TD Ameritrade account information and to transfer all funds from that account to her in a certified check and he said he would do so.
As of February 24, 2014, Lettich never contacted her again and never provided any money to Durocher, police said.
According to police, an investigation showed Lettich deposited the three checks from Durocher for $35,000 into his personal bank account, and there were no TD Ameritrade accounts in Durocher's name, and the only one in Lettich's name never had any money deposited in it from Oct, 23, 2012 until it was closed in January 2014.
Lettich was arrested and charged Monday with theft by deception.
He is being held at the Lehigh County Prison under $50,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing is set for March 24.