NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP >> The Newtown Township Police Department arrested Precious Etsekhume and Kathryne Simon, both from Bronx, New York, on July 27 on charges that they defrauded the Bucks County Community College.
Both women were processed at the Northampton Township Police Department and were arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Petrucci. Bail was set at $100,000, unsecured.
On January 16, Newtown Township Police were contacted by Bucks County Community College (BCCC), reporting that the college, located at 275 Swamp Road, Newtown Township, had been the victim of fraud.
BCCC personnel reported that in November of 2019, they had been contacted by an individual who represented themselves as being affiliated with a familiar construction company, whom BCCC had been conducting business with. This individual was utilizing an email domain, which was believed to be legitimately associated with the construction company and instructed BCCC personnel to make a payment in the amount of $407,516.51 to the construction company, through an account provided by the individual.
After the funds had been transferred, BCCC was in communication with the actual construction company, and learned that the funds had been diverted for fraudulent purposes.
Through the course of the investigation, Newtown Township Police Detectives learned that the $407,516.51 in stolen funds had been transferred to the business account of an elderly fraud victim in New Jersey.
Police learned that the elderly fraud victim was previously befriended by an individual through an online dating site one year prior, and was coerced into allowing this person to utilize the elderly victim’s business bank account to receive the funds. That same elderly victim was then coerced into making four separate bank wire transfers in the amount of $100,000 each, to various other bank accounts.
Detectives were able to determine that two of those $100,000 wire transfers were received by the personal bank accounts of 27-year-old Precious Etsekhume and 27-year-old Kathryne Simon, both of Bronx, New York.
After receiving the stolen funds from BCCC, police said Etsekhume & Simon began spending the money on purchases including clothing, plastic surgery and other money transfers. These purchases would not have been possible, due to the low balance in their bank accounts, but not for the receipt of the stolen funds from BCCC.
As a result, felony arrest warrants were obtained for Precious Etsekhume and Kathryne Simon, for charges of Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activity, Receiving Stolen Property, & Criminal Conspiracy.