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New Milford, Bergenfield Men Charged In High-End Thefts

Frances Montecillo, Ronald Maliwanag
Frances Montecillo, Ronald Maliwanag Photo Credit: COURTESY: Bergen County Prosecutor

NEW MILFORD, N.J. -- Authorities charged a New Milford man in connection with a pair of thefts, one involving a stolen credit card that they said he used not only to buy high-end watches, computers, designer clothing and other items but to also pay his dentist.

That man, identified as Frances Montecillo, 23, also conspired with 22-year-old Ronald Maliwanag of Bergenfield, to swipe more than $20,000 from a cellphone app-based investment company "through the use of stolen identities, forged bank documents, and illicit computer based transfers," Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said Monday evening.

Representatives of the NVE Bank in New Milford notified investigators in August of apparent automated clearing house (ACH) fraud involving Acorns Investing and Maliwanag, an NVE customer, Molinelli said.

"ACH fraud is the common term for the illicit use of the banking industry’s electronic fund transfer system to transfer illegally obtained funds from a victim to an account which can be accessed by the party involved in the theft," he said.

During the course of the investigation, Glen Rock detectives "were notified of a separate incident involving a local resident whose credit card information had been stolen" by Montecillo, who "utilized the information to obtain new credit cards and make fraudulent purchases," the prosecutor said.

The shopping spree included Apple laptops, a Rolex watch, designer handbags, LED televisions and Beats headphones, he said.

Members of Molinelli's White Collar Crimes Unit were arresting both men with the help of New Milford and Glen Rock police on Oct. 16 when they found each with Xanax, the prosecutor said.

Montecillo also had marijuana, illegal steroids and cocaine, while Maliwanag had Addrall and Molly, he said.

Montecillo was being held on $192,500 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with theft by deception, computer-related theft, forgery, conspiracy and drug offenses, among other counts.

He has two court dates -- one on Tuesday, Oct. 20, in Glen Rock Municipal Court and the other on Oct. 28 in New Milford Municipal Court.

Maliwanag was released on $50,000 bail pending a first appearance in New Milford Municipal Court with Montecillo. He's charged with theft by deception, comoputer-related theft and the drug counts, among other offenses.

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