A Latvian man living at the Red Roof Inn in Essington, Pa. was arraigned Wednesday on three felony counts by Judge Andrea Duffy in Montgomery Township District Court – theft by deception, theft by property lost by mistake and receiving stolen property – as he is suspected of withdrawing funds and wiring money from a fraudulent bank account, using compromised bank funds from Royal Bank of Canada, police allege.
Konstantins Rapsa, of the Red Roof Inn on Industrial Highway in Essington, remains in Montgomery County jail on $150,000 cash bail, awaiting a Nov. 3 preliminary hearing. At his arraignment, Rapsa required an interpreter via phone.
On Monday, at 1:19 p.m., Montgomery Township Police responded to Bank of America at 983 North Wales Road for a report of possible fraud committed by Rapsa, and a man referred to by police as John Doe, Rapsa’s interpreter, police said.
Police met with a teller at the bank, who had just assisted Rapsa and his interpreter in processing a withdrawal of $4,500 in cash from an account owned by Rapsa, according to an affidavit. Rapsa had provided a passport as identification, police said.
After Rapsa allegedly received the $4,500 cash, the two men left the bank. Both were captured on surveillance video, police said.
A short time later, Rapsa and the interpreter – described as a 5 foot 8 inch-tall man of average build, with dark hair – returned to the bank again, police said. They approached the same teller and allegedly requested another $4,500 withdrawal from the same account in Rapsa’s name, police said.
The teller noticed a hold on the funds and told both men that the transaction could not be completed.
Realizing her error, the teller asked both men to remain in the bank to correct the error, police said.
The interpreter left the bank with the $4,500 cash, but Rapsa remained behind, police said. The teller then called police.
The teller told police Rapsa’s account was on hold because it was one-week old, opened on Oct. 14 in Folsom, Pa., police said. There was also $49,000 being wired to it from an unconfirmed source, police said.
The account also had a few large cash withdrawals from ATMs on Monday, police said.
Rapsa told police that the $49,000 was being wired from a personal acquaintance, but he could not provide the name, police allege. On Tuesday, a senior investigator for Bank of America told police that the $49,000 wire transfer from a Royal Bank of Canada account was fraudulent, police said.
The transfer, police said, was not authorized by the account holder through Royal Bank of Canada.
Royal Bank of Canada is, at present, investigating the wire transaction, according to the compliant. A representative from Royal Bank of Canada confirmed that a business commercial client’s account had been compromised at the time the wire transaction originated, police said. The funds were then directed to Rapsa’s Bank of America account, police allege.