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2 Morris County men charged after investigation into identity theft

Two Morris County men have been charged in connection to $531,120 in loans illegally taken out in the name of the victim, according to Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp.

Mario Reis, 58, of Budd Lake has been charged with second-degree identity theft, second-degree theft by deception, second-degree criminal attempt to commit theft by deception, second-degree conspiracy to commit theft by deception, third-degree forgery, third-degree forgery – uttering, and third-degree false government documents.

Michael Kurzyna, 70, of Netcong has been charged with second-degree theft by deception.

On July 1, 2019, the Mount Olive Police Department was contacted by the victim who reported that sometime during 2016, an acquaintance of the victim, Mario Reis, contacted the victim stating that Reis was in need of financial assistance regarding his home heating oil company J&M Fuel LLC, Knapp said.

The victim then invested $35,000.00 into Reis’s company, Knapp said.

In 2019, the victim received a letter in the mail from a company by the name of CAN Financial. The letter explained that the victim’s request for a loan was denied. The victim had not applied for any loans and further found that multiple loans had been taken out in the victim’s name that totaled approximately $175,000.00. As a result, the victim’s personal finances were being frozen for lack of payment and other loan related issues, which the victim believed were caused by Reis, Knapp said.

The investigation found that approximately $531,120.00 in loans were taken out as a result of Reis allegedly stealing the identity of the victim. Reis allegedly utilized the victim’s information and allegedly completed fraudulent applications for loans, which were deposited into his fuel oil business account and were subsequently spent by Reis on personal and other expenses. Reis allegedly conspired with and allegedly utilized Kurzyna, a loan broker at the time out of Netcong, to pass the fraudulent information to the end lender. Kurzyna allegedly agreed to broker the loans knowing that Reis was attempting to circumvent certain criteria/requirements within the loans, Knapp said.

At this time, the amount of the defaulted loans are approximately $281,906.20, Knapp said.

Knapp thanked the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Specialized Crimes, Financial Crimes Unit and the Mt. Olive Police Department whose efforts contributed to the investigation of this case.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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