Date: July 6, 2015
Case # 15NF1783
LAW ENFORCEMENT SEEKS POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL VICTIMS OF MAN CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING MORE THAN $100,000 FROM NEIGHBORS AND ACQUAINTANCES THROUGH FALSE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) are seeking the public’s help identifying potential additional victims of a defendant charged with defrauding more than $100,000 from neighbors and acquaintances through false investment opportunities. Angelo Castello, 60, Yorba Linda, is charged with six felony counts of fraudulently defrauding another, one felony count of first degree burglary, one felony count of first degree robbery, one felony count of criminal threats, two felony counts of extortion by force or threat, one felony count of criminal threats, and one felony count of theft with one prior conviction, the defendant was previously convicted of grand theft of personal property in 1997 in San Diego County. The defendant also faces sentencing enhancement allegations for being a non-accomplice present during a residential burglary, committing a crime against a vulnerable victim, crime-bail-crime, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property damage or loss over $65,000. If convicted, Castello faces a maximum sentence of 17 years and four months in state prison. He is being held on $250,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Castello was arraigned today and is scheduled for pre-trial on July 14, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
Between July 14, 2012, and July 30, 2012, Castello is accused of posing as a day trader and approaching a couple at a yard sale. Castello is accused of telling the couple that he would teach them how to invest in stocks and collected over $10,000 from the victims and never made contact with the victims again or investing the money.
Between Oct. 3, 2013, and Oct. 6, 2013, Castello is accused of approaching a sales employee at a car dealership while looking for a car to purchase. The defendant is accused is of offering a fraudulent investment deal to the employee where he could receive a $12,000 return on an investment. Castello is accused of collecting $3,800 from the employee and never investing the money.
On Feb. 15, 2014, Castello is accused of accompanying his girlfriend to a rental car company and befriending a rental car agent. He is accused of offering the agent an opportunity to invest in an oil company and receiving a substantial return on the investment. The defendant is accused of collecting $7,100 from the victim and never investing the money.
Between May 20, 2014, and May 27, 2014, Castello is accused of befriending a woman who was involved in a car accident and going through financial difficulties. The defendant is accused of contacting the victim and arranging a meeting at her home about her financial problems. Castello is accused of entering the victim’s home and telling her about an investment opportunity and collecting multiple payments totaling over $11,000 from the victim over the course of several days. The defendant is accused of threatening the victim when she refused to pay more payments until seeing a return. Castello is accused of never investing the victim’s money.
Between July 7, 2014, and July 21, 2014, the defendant is accused of approaching the owner of a pawn shop where he regularly visited and offering the owner an investment opportunity in purchasing diamonds. Castello is accused of collecting $19,500 from the victim and never investing the money.
On Sept. 16, 2014, Castello is accused of approaching a neighbor and offering to sell her playoff tickets to a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball game. The defendant is accused of collecting $480 from the victim and never giving the victim any tickets.
Between Dec. 2, 2014, and Feb. 28, 2015, Castello is accused of posing as a member of the mafia and approaching his neighbor, who was a criminal defense attorney, and telling the victim the defendant needs an attorney to represent one of their members charged with homicide in Los Angeles. The defendant is accused of telling the attorney he needs money to pay other mafia members in Los Angeles. Castello is accused of collecting the money and telling the attorney that the money was invested with insider trading knowledge that the mafia members had and the attorney was now a partner in the crime. The defendant is accused of repeatedly extorting money from the attorney collecting over $100,000.
The case was reported to OCSD who arrested the defendant on July 1, 2015. OCSD investigated this case.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigation Andy Terhorst at (714) 648-3615 or OCSD Investigator Scott Yuen at (714) 647-7031.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Lynda Fernandez of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.