The Pittsburg Police Department reported that in October of 2018, they became aware of a scam involving Teresita Del Rosario, a 74-year-old Brentwood resident and a business owner in the City of Pittsburg.
The case was immediately assigned to the Investigations Division where it was thoroughly investigated over the course of the last several months. Through the course of the investigation, it was learned Del Rosario was the owner of Best Haven Realty and Mortgage located at 3128 Harbor Street and offered a wide range of services, including tax preparation and notary services.
Del Rosario used her authority and trust placed in her by her customers to prey on unsuspecting victims. Del Rosario presented false pretenses to victims using a scam known as the “Advance Fee Scheme” or “Nigerian Scam” to obtain large amounts of money from them, with no intention of paying them back.
Investigators learned of a victim, a client whom she provided tax services for, that reported Del Rosario stated that she had come into a large amount of money ($2.8 million) which was tied up in an offshore account in the Philippines. Del Rosario related she needed a loan from the victim to pay for taxes and other fees, or the money wouldn’t be released to her.
Del Rosario showed the victim online records and other documentation to support her claims and requested a $12,000.00 loan from the victim, ensuring him she would give him $24,000.00 by the end of the week in return payment. To reassure the victim, Del Rosario completed a notarized Promissory Note which she provided to him and displayed fraudulent documentation supporting her claims.
Through the investigation, other victims have been identified. The same scheme was used on an elderly couple who trusted Del Rosario with their tax preparation for 17 years. The elderly victims had been defrauded by Del Rosario in excess of $75,000.00 over the course of several months under the same false pretenses.
Detectives have served numerous search warrants to banks and followed other leads. Ultimately, it was discovered Del Rosario was endorsing the Cashier’s Checks provided to her by the victims and endorsing them into a third party’s name to avoid detection and wiring funds to an offshore bank account.
The case was brought to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and reviewed by Deputy District Attorney Dodie Katague. The Office of the District Attorney ultimately filed charges against Del Rosario for multiple charges including Grand Theft, Theft by False Pretenses, and Elder Abuse.
On 4/17/19, the Pittsburg Police Department Investigations Division served a search warrant at Best Haven Realty and Mortgage and took Del Rosario into custody for the above-mentioned charges.
This investigation is still ongoing. It is believed that there are further victims that have been defrauded by Del Rosario and is asking for help identifying as of yet unknown victims.
If you or someone you know is a victim of fraud purported by Del Rosario or an associate of hers, contact Detective Jonathan Elmore at 925-252-4875.